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JACEK LUMINSKI  graduated from the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in  Warsaw and for six years developed his acting and theater skills as part of the capital's Jewish Theatre. He also studied and performed with other troupes throughout Poland. He founded Silesian Dance Theatre in  Bytom in 1991 and since then has taught and toured widely in and beyond Eastern Europe, including several visits to the United States. His dance-making is informed by two decades of research on folk traditions of Polish Jewry and Polish folklore. In1993, he founded the International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival, which has become the most important annual dance event in Poland and one of the most influential forums for contemporary dance in Eastern Europe.

Silesian Dance Theatre: Poland's first professional contemporary dance company, the Silesian Dance Theatre, was established in 1991 in the city of Bytom by Director/Choreographer Jacek Luminski. Widely regarded as the father of Polish modern dance, Luminski has developed a unique dance style that has evolved through his twenty years of research on Polish folklore and the folk traditions of Polish Jewry. A production may reflect, for example, a certain sense of space, unique to communities in Podhale, that is related to their traditional feeling of freedom and independence, drawing upon the complex rhythms of their music and the power of open-throat singing. By the same token, an analysis of Jewish songs, legends, superstitions, customs, rituals, and dance forms - the importance of the palm of the hand, pelvis, chest, and spine - have also deeply influenced the style and technique of the Silesian Dance Theatre. The dancers float in space, connecting internal and external worlds, and going beyond them with the use of technical skills enriched with psychophysical tools and mental power reflecting the Hassidic tradition of dance as a conversation with God.

Silesian Dance Theatre has performed in Canada, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Lithuania, Russia, South Africa, and the United States. The Silesian Dance Theatre, known for its many educational and community outreach initiatives, also organizes the Annual International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival in Bytom, a gritty industrial town hosting one of the world’s most exciting dance festivals, with participants like Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project and Joan Myers Brown’s Philadanco.



  • 2004 -               PhD program in Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington, International dance workshops in USA, Germany, Denmark, Poland
  • 1992,   1993      American Dance Festival
  • 1981 – 1985      Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw
  • 1979 – 1985      Actor's Studio at the State Jewish Theatre
  • 1974 – 1978      The State Ballet School in Warsaw
Professional experience:
  • 1991 -               Director, founder, choreographer: Silesian Dance Theatre in Bytom
  • 1988-1990         Director, founder, choreographer, dancer: Theatre of the New Dance in Olsztyn and Chorzów
  • 1985-1988         Dancer: Polish Dance Theatre in Poznan
  • 1979-1985         Actor: The State Jewish Theatre in Warsaw
  • Choreographic Center Linz (Austria)
  • Steptext Dance Company, Bremen (Germany)
  • Creative Projects International, Ltd. (New York / USA)
  • Theatre Institute Netherlands (Amsterdam / Holland)
  • Tanec Praha (Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Mask (Szeger, Hungary)
  • Arts International (New York / USA)
  • Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre (Tel-Aviv / Israel)
  • Center for Artistic Education (Warsaw / Poland)
  • Center for Cultural Animation (Warsaw / Poland)
  • Department of Artistic Education at the Ministry of Art and Culture (Warsaw / Poland)
  • Center for Arts and Culture in Kalisz (Poland)
  • Center for Arts and Culture in Lublin (Poland)
  • Workshop Foundation (Hungary)
  • Aerowaves - The Place Theatre (London / United Kingdom)
  • Colwell Arts Center Glocester, Dance Services, Bristol (United Kingdom)
Teaching Experience:
  • 2002-2003         Rotterdamse DansAkademie
  • 2002                 Ohio State University
  • 2001-2003         Swarthmore College
  • 1997-present     The State Ballet School in Bytom
  • 1997                 Annual International Lublin's Dance Theatre Meeting
  • 1996                 Dance of the World Festival (Warsaw / Poland)
  • 1996                 New Educational Workshop Series for Dance Teachers and Community Leaders permanent (Bytom / Poland)
  • 1996                 Baltic Dance University, Festival (Gdansk / Poland)
  • 1994-2003         International Presentation of Contemporary Dance Forms (Kalisz / Poland)
  • 1994-2003         Annual International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival (Bytom / Poland)
  • 1991                 Dance of the World Festival in Gdansk
  • 1990-1991         The State Ballet School in Bytom
  • 1987-1989         The State Ballet School in Warsaw
  • 1987-1989         Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw
Master Class and Workshops:
  • University of Utah
  • University of Minnesota
  • Minnesota Dance Alliance
  • University of North Dakota
  • University of Georgia
  • Ohio State University
  • New York University
  • Georgia Washington University
  • Duke University
  • American Dance Festival
  • Dance Place, Washington D.C
  • Klezkamp, Catskills, N.Y.
  • St. Mary's College, Minnesota
  • Swarthmore College, Swarthmore(USA) "Dance and Democracy"
  • Ruhr Universitat, Bochum (Germany) "Dance Development in Poland"
  • Minnesota Dance Alliance, Minneapolis (USA) "Dance in Contemporary Poland"
  • New York University, New York (USA) "Dance in Contemporary Poland role of Silesian Dance Theatre"
  • New York Public Library for Performing Arts (USA) "Style and Technique of Silesian Dance Theatre"
  • Karmiel Festival, Karmiel (Israel) "Dance in Pre-WWII Poland
  • American University, Washington D.C. (USA) "Style and Technique of Silesian Dance Theatre"
  • American Dance Festival, Durham (USA) "Style and Technique of Silesian Dance Theatre"
  • Catholic University of Lublin (Poland) "Dance Traditions of Polish Jewry
  • YMHA Library, New York (USA) "Dance Traditions of Polish Jewry"
  • 2004     Abyss, City Dance Ensamble, Washington, DC (USA); A Ground for Turmoil, Silesian Dance Theatre; Where to Put the Blanket, Dance Advance (Philadelphia Fringe Festival Philadelphia, USA)
  • 2003     The Thought That Got Ruffled Much, Silesian Dance Theatre; Things Unsettled, Music Theatre, Gliwice
  • 2002     Stright into the Eyes, Silesian Dance Theatre
  • 2001     Shadow Behind the Sun, Swarthmore College (USA); The End of the Rainbow, Silesian Dance Theatre
  • 2000     Diary of Daydream, Silesian Dance Theatre
  • 1999     Innocent Dream on the Wane, Silesian Dance Theatre
  • 1998     WK - 70, Silesian Dance Theatre
  • 1997     Notes from a Briefcase, Silesian Dance Theatre; Melodia do wicia rozgi ( A Melody to Plait a Twig), Silesian Dance Theatre
  • 1996     Drgania Obrazow (Oscillation), Silesian Dance Theatre
  • 1995     Angel by My Side, Minnesota Dance Exchange, USA; Takie Nic (Such Nothing), Silesian Dance Theatre; Wiatr Poniesie... (Wind takes it...), Silesian Dance Theatre
  • 1994     Mokosz, Silesian Dance Theatre; Bjamgwam, Silesian Dance Theatre; Bez dna (Without Bottom), Silesian Dance Theatre
  • 1993     Nim przyjdzie wiosna (Before Spring Comes), Silesian Dance Theatre; Spojrzenie z oddali (View from Beyond), Silesian Dance Theatre
  • 1992     ...Z podrozy (...From a Journey), American Dance Festival, Silesian Dance Theatre; Meandry (Windings), Silesian Dance Theatre; Tesknoty II (Yearnings II), Silesian Dance Theatre; Pomiedzy wodami (Between Waters), Silesian Dance Theatre
  • 1991     They Shoot Horses, Don't They, Osterwa Theatre in Lublin
  • 1990     Zamiast (Instead of), Theatre of the New Dance; W oczekiwaniu... (Waiting for...), Theatre of the New Dance; Reflections, Theatre of the New Dance; Ave Maria, Theatre of the New Dance; Ma Querre a Moi - Yearnings, Theatre of the New Dance
  • 1986     Sephardic Songs, The State Jewish Theatre in Warsaw
  • 2004           Silesian Distinction of Honor; Golden Cross of Merits, National distinction for important contribution in changing community
  • 2003           Pillar of the Report Award, Report Monthly in Business
  • 2002           Leader of the Year Award, Trybuna Slaska Dialy
  • 1999           Golden Mask'99, from Silesian Government and TVP Katowice for "WK-70"
  • 1996           Pola Nirenska Award (USA)
  • 1995           McKnight Fellowship (USA); Golden Mask'95, from Silesian Government for developing of the new form of theatre
  • 1994           ArtsLink Fellowship (USA)
  • 1993, 1994  Trust for Mutual Understanding/Suitcase Fund (USA)
  • 1992           United States Information Agency, Visiting Artist (USA)
  • 1989           Foundation for Polish Culture Fellowship (Poland)
  • 1988           Ballet International Foundation Fellowship (Germany)
  • 1986           Ben Sommers Award (Capezio) (USA/Israel)
Published Articles:
  • Gazeta Wyborcza, daily
  • OPCJE, quarterly (online)
  • Fa-Art, quarterly (online)
  • Teatr, monthly
  • Ruch Muzyczny, monthly
  • Minnesota Dance
  • Zycie Warszawy, daily
  • Folks-Sztyme, Jewish bi-weekly
  • Akcent, quarterly
  • Dance Critics Association News, San Francisco (USA)
  • Ballet International, Germany (1984-1990)
  • Curator of EU Contemporary Dance Coproduction Fund
  • Director of Contemporary Dance Department at the State Ballet School in Bytom
  • Lang Professor of Social Change, Swarthmore College, Philadelphia, USA (2001)
  • Director of Postgraduate Studies in Dance at Silesian University in Katowice
  • Board Member for Annual International Lublin's Dance Theatre Meetings
  • Board Member for Krakow 2000 Festival
  • member of the jury of the competition at International Presentations of Contemporary Dance Forms, Kalisz
  • editor of dance columns at OPCJE quarterly magazine
  • advisor at the Center for Artistic Education, Center for Cultural Animation and the Department of Artistic Education, (Ministry of Culture)
  • founder of the Annual International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival in Bytom
  • inventor and founder of the New Educational Workshop Series for Dance Teachers and Community Leaders, Bytom
  • 1 hour program for TV Katowice (1994) with the Silesian Dance Theatre
  • half hour program for Channel 2 of TVP (national)
  • 1 hour program for TV Katowice (1990) with the Theatre of the New Dance
  • Co-director of the Dance of the World Festival 1991 in Gdansk
  • Anna Sokolow's Rehearsal Director for Rooms and Ballade (1987), Polish Dance Theatre in Poznan