|DADA VON BZDULOW THEATER
Dada von Bzdülöw Theater was founded by Leszek Bzdyl and Katarzyna Chmielewska in 1992 in Gdansk as one of the first Polish dance theaters. Before that, Bzdyl used to be an actor of the Wroclaw Pantomime Theater, as well as Wojciech Misiuro's Expression Theater. Chmielewska, on the other hand, graduated from the Gdansk Ballet School, and while working with Dada, she also completed a prestigious P.A.R.T.S. cycle in Brussels, led by the ROSAS creator, Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker. With their diverse educational and professional backgrounds, they have managed to create a unique style of the group, inspired by the efforts of Dadaists and the works of Polish writers (Dada's unwritten patron appears to be Witold Gombrowicz). Movement, dance, word, text, play with form and convention, pastiche, grotesque and eclecticism have become permanent determinants of their works. Dada von Bzdülöw have yet created almost 50 performances, some of the most famous including: Magnolia (2002), Several Witty Observations (a la Gombrowicz, 2004), Factor T. (2008), Caffe Latte (2009), Le Sacre (2010), Invisible Duets (2011), Play it, so 17 dances about something (2013), Intro (2015).
Since the very beginning, they have been working as a creative collective, collaborating with more than a dozen artists, although in the group's history that circle used to be much larger. It was Bzdyl and Chmielewska's group that set the stage for a career of dancers so distinctly present in Poland and Europe nowadays, such as: Rafal Dziemidok (Berlin), Patrycja Kujawska (UK), Magdalena Reiter (Lubljana), Radek Hewelt and Filip Szatarski (Vienna)
Over the past five years, more than 20 dancers have performed with Dada von Bzdülöw Theater, including: Anna Steller, Dominika Knapik, Izabela Chlewinska, Daniela Komdera, Katarzyna Ustowska, Pawel Grala, Piotr Stanek, Radek Hewelt, Dawid Lorenc. Ever since, Dada's performances have been also co-created by the leading Polish representatives of jazz and improvised music: Mikolaj Trzaska, Wojciech Mazolewski, SzaZa (PaweB Szamburski & Patryk Zakrocki), Adam Witkowski & Maciej Salamon (Nagrobki/Gravestones/). As yet, the theater has collaborated in Poland with numerous cultural institutions as well: the Baltic Cultural Center (1993-2000), the Municipal Theater of Witold Gombrowicz in Gdynia (1995-2001), Klub Zak in GdaDsk (2000-2007), Teatr Nowy in Lodz (2008). Since 2008 the theatre is represented by Dada von Bzdülöw Artists Association with its seat in Gdansk, and associated with Wybrzeze Theater, Gdansk, where it can produce and stage performances.
Dada Theater has successfully presented in dozens of countries around the world, e.g. Germany, UK, France, China, India, South Korea and USA. Dada's twenty-five years also translates into numerous theatrical and educational projects as well as theater festivals, both in Poland and abroad. They have yet performed, among others, at Live Arts Festival in Philadelphia, Les Hivernales in Avignon, Beijing Fringe Festival in Beijing, Bharat Rang Mahotsav in New Delhi, SIDance Festival in Seoul, Tanec Praha in Prague, Warsaw Theater Meetings, Klamra Festival in Torun, Heineken Open'er Festival in Gdynia, the International Body/Mind Festival in Warsaw, the Krakow Theater Reminiscences, the Baltic Dance Theater Meetings in GdaDsk, the Coastal Arts Festival in GdaDsk, the International Dance Theater Meetings in Lublin.
Leszek Bzdyl began his professional stage career in 1987 (Henryk Tomaszewski's Wroclaw Pantomime Theatre 1987-1990; Wojciech Misiuro's Expression Theatre 1990-1992). In 1992, together with Katarzyna Chmielewska, he founded the Dada von Bzdülöw Theatre, where he's directed and choreographed most performances, including Magnolia (2002), Several Witty Observations (2004), based on the Diaries by Witold Gombrowicz, Factor T (2008) created in USA, or Le Sacre (2010). With Dada Theatre, he has yet performed at numerous festivals and theatres in Poland, in more than 20 European countries as well as in China, India, South Korea, the United States, Israel and Palestine. He's taken part in the making of dozens of performances on the stages of Warsaw, Gdansk, Legnica and Wroclaw. As a director, he's also made drama performances eg. Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand in Legnica (2009), or Green Zoo - according to his original screenplay - in Warsaw (2010). In 1997-2000, together with the other Dada von Bzdülöw artists, he led a series of artistic events called A Day of Beautiful Society; in 2002-2007, he was the coordinator of Gdansk Dance Corporation Festival; takes part in international projects eg.: Landscape X (Interkult, Stockholm), In the body and Papugaj (Baltic Dance University - Gdansk), Drop Dead Gorgeous (Dada Theatre co-production with Vincent Dance Theatre, UK), Several Witty Observations - Trans Danse Europe (Avignon, Brussels, Helsinki, Prague, Reykjavik), Out of Bounds and Factor T (Dance Advance, Philadelphia, USA), Co-operation (Paris, La Batie Festival - Geneva, Gdansk), ODYS-SEAS - a European project held on the premises of Gdansk Shipyard. He regularly runs dance and acting workshops in Poland and abroad, including England, France, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Zimbabwe and the United States. He has yet taught at the National Ballet School in Gdansk, the Vocal and Acting School in Gdynia and the Theatre Academy in Warsaw. As an actor, he has starred in the performances of Gdynia Municipal Theatre, directed by Julia Wernio: in The Tempest by Shakespeare, and in Life is a Dream by Pedro Calderon de la Barca, and in Charlie the Boxer by Piotr Cieplak (2010) at Wybrzeze Theatre in Gdansk. He has won many awards, including the Award of the City of Gdansk in the field of culture (1999), the Theatre Prize of the Marshal of the Pomerania Region (2006), Storm of the Year Award, from the readers of Gazeta Wyborcza (2007), the International Theatre Pasta Award - India (2007). In 2010 he received a medal of honor - "Meritorious for Polish Culture" by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
Katarzyna Chmielewska is a dancer and choreographer who has trained and performed with the National Ballet School in Gdansk (1984-93), Ballet Group of The National Baltic Opera-House (1993-94), Gdansk Dance Theatre (1994-95), Contemporary Dance School P.A.R.T.S in Brussels (1995-96), and City Theatre in Gdynia (1997-2000). In 1993, together with Leszek Bzdyl, she established the Dada von Bzdülöw Theatre, where she teaches contemporary dance technique and realizes her own choreographies: /Si/ (2000), Dialogues in Conventione (2001), so beautiful (2002), Bonsai, and Juicy Flesh (2005). She has performed and co-authored and appeared in most theatre productions, including Magnolia (2003), Several Witty Observations (2004) / performance shown eg. at LaMaMa in New York (2006/07) and in India (2007) /, Factor T (2008), Red Grass (2009), Caffè Latte (2009), Le Sacre (2010), Invisible Duets (2012) / performance shown eg. in South Korea (2012) and China (2012) /, Play it, so 17 dances about something (2013), Transmigracione di fermenti d'amore (2014), INTRO (2015). She's been a regular contributor to the performances of other choreographers eg. Roberto Olivan (2013), Malgven Gerbes and David Brandstätter (2014-2016), as well as has created scenic movement for drama theatres, eg. Alien Bodies (2012), Madame Bovary (2015), The Crimson Petal and the White (2016) directed by Kuba Kowalski. Awarded in 2012 by the Mayor of Gdansk and the Marshal of Pomeranian Province for lifetime outstanding artistic achievements.
Katarzyna Ustowska graduated from the National Ballet School in Gdansk (2008), the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, UK, (BPA in Performing Arts, 2011) and Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt (MA in Contemporary Dance Education, 2017). As a dancer and choreographer, she has yet cooperated with Dada von Bzdülöw Theater in Gdansk, namely: Enclave 4/7 (2013), Intro (2015) and Today. Everything (premiere October 2017), as well as other choreographers in Europe, such as: Roberto Zappalà, Ivgi&Greben, Jordan Massarella, Lea Anderson, Milan Kozánek and Akram Khan (Verve'12). She also works independently creating her own projects in collaboration with other artists eg. Alicia Hoppel, Aina Gargallo-Sanchez and Daniel Speer. She has also received awards for young talents eg.: "Sopot Muse" (from the City of Sopot), "Creative Valley" (from Polish TV - TVP Kultura), Dance (from Kielce Dance Theater). For over ten years she has given classes in classical and contemporary dance techniques, improvisation and dance composition for children and youth. She has also run professional classes for dancers and students of art colleges, including the North Karelia College in Finland, Mousontrum and the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt, Institut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft (ATW) in Giessen / Germany.
Piotr Stanek graduated from the Ludwik Solski State Drama School in Cracow, Dance Theater Department in Bytom. As an actor, he has yet taken part in theatre performances directed by Jerzy Stuhr, RafaB Urbacki, and Jens Van Daele. Since 2013, as a dancer and choreographer, he has cooperated with Dada von Bzdülöw Theater in "Enclave 4/7", "Intro", "Today. Everything" (premiere in October 2017), as well as the Dramatic Theater in Kielce ("West Coast"). He has also worked independently, creating his own choreographies in collaboration with other artists eg. I had my bike stolen (Klub Zak, Gdansk, residence / premiere 2014), and Emergency Plan (Cracow Choreographic Center 2015). As yet, he has also received awards eg. the winner of the "Eurovision Contest for Young Dancers 2013", the Best Dancer Award at the Solo Dance Contest 2014, the Deltebre Dansa 2015 Award (duet - Bad Dancing - Good Art), and the winner of the 1st National Young Choreographers Competition at "Barefoot" Festival in Polczyn Zdroj, Poland.