Project is financed with funds from Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
2016 is the Year of Polish culture in Brazil. To celebrate this, the Art Stations Foundation, together with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the VIVADANÇA Festival in Salvador, are working on a project which aims to follow (and discover for the Polish audience) the story and oeuvre of Yanka Rudzka (1916-2008). In 1956, the Polish dancer came to Salvador (Bahia, Brazil) to set up the pioneering Dance School at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), which quickly became a major centre for the performing arts in Brazil. Completely unknown in Poland, Yanka Rudzka is considered one of the most important contemporary dance personalities in the Bahian capital city Salvador, as the first dance professional to merge modern dance (hailing from German expressionist dance circles) with traditional Afro-Brazilian culture, in particular Orisha music and dances (Candomblé). Yanka Rudzka’s influence on the contemporary dance scene in the region was invaluable, as exemplified by the long-standing annual Yanka Rudzka Dance Award.
Apart from the project’s research-focused component, conducted since mid 2015 by Polish theatre anthropologist Maciej Rożalski, its equally important part is the creation of an original choreography that will unite dancers from Poland and Salvador, and bring closer their respective dance communities. This will make it possible to gain a deeper insight into a noteworthy albeit previously unidentified artistic link between Poland and Brazil, and will symbolically “bring” the Polish artist “home”. Moreover, it will provide for the repeating of Yanka Rudzka’s gesture, and for the practical exchange of dance experience. At the same time, the project will create an opportunity to explore what the two dance worlds may have in common and the inspiring differences between them.
The original choreography, created under the guidance of Joanna Leśnierowska and Janusz Orlik, will be based on a dialogue between the Brazilian and Polish artists, whilst its point of departure will consist of two non stylised traditional dances from the two countries: the oberek and the samba.
The project has been developed in collaboration with the international Vivadança Festival (April 2016) and its artistic director Cristina Castro. The premiere show, scheduled for 29 April, International Dance Day (with the second show on the following day), will be the culmination of an intensive presentation of Polish dance performances at Vivadança 2016 that will showcase the latest work of young Polish choreographers to a Brazilian audience. Other artists taking part in the choreography by Joanna Leśnierowska and Janusz Orlik are Anderson Danttas, Sinha Guimarães, Agnieszka Kryst, Korina Kordova, Manchinha, Paweł Sakowicz, Neemias Santana and Jônatas Raine.