prof. dr hab.

Ewa Wycichowska

ballet pedagogy

Fot. Andrzej Grabowski

A dancer (long-time prima ballerina at the Grand Theatre in Łódź), choreographer, pedagogue, academic teacher, holder of a professorial title in musical arts. She graduated from the General Ballet School in Poznań, Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw (1981) and L’Academie Internationale de la Danse in Paris (1974/75). She also completed a Course for Culture Managers at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (1990). She is one of very few Polish dancers who is successful around the world both in classical and contemporary repertoire. As a performer, she has – among others – collaborated with Witold Borkowski – “Romeo and Juliet”, Kurte Joosse – “Green Table”, Conrad Drzewiecki – “The Firebird”, Teresa Kujawa – “Medea”, Boris Eifman – “Gayane”, Gray Veredon – “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Wolfgang Amadeus”, or Jerzy Makarowski – “Carmen”. She also created legendary roles in her own performances “Faust goes rock” and “Possessed Violinist”.

In 1980, she debuted as a choreographer with the work “Female Voice (from an Unknown Poet)” to music by Krzysztof Knittel at the Grand Theatre in Łódź. She is an author of over 70 performances produced in Poland, Europe and the USA. As a choreographer, she has also collaborated with outstanding theatre, opera and film directors, such as Jerzy Jarocki, Erwin Axer, Maciej Pruse, Krzysztof Zanussi, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Jerzy Kawalerowicz Adam Hanuszkiewicz, Krystyna Janda, Krzysztof Zaleski and Eugeniusz Korin.

In the period of 1981–1984, she was a teacher at the Faculty of Eurhythmics at the Academy of Music in Łódź; and between 1985 and 1988 she taught modern dance at the State Ballet School in Łódź; since 1999 she has been a lecturer at the Department of Music Education at the Academy of Music in Warsaw, specialty Ballet Pedagogy, then specialty Choreography and Theory of Dance and Postgraduate Studies in Theory of Dance. In 2002 she was awarded the title of profesor nadzwyczajny at the FCUM, and in 2009 she became Head of the Unit of Dance at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw; in the period of 2006–2010 she was professor and lecturer at the Academy  of Entrepreneurship in Kielce; since 2007 she has been professor and guest lecturer at the Academy of Music in Łódź; in 2015 – she earned the title of profesor zwyczajny at the Academy of Physical Education in Poznań at the newly established major called Dance in Physical Culture; she has supervised 7 doctoral theses, 4 post-doctoral theses, and an Honorary Doctorate awarded to Prof. Roderyk Lange.

In the period of 1988–2016 she was General and Artistic Manager of the Polish Dance Theatre – Poznań Ballet. While heading the Polish Dance Theatre, Ewa Wycichowska presented a rare skill of successfully combining artistic, academic and managerial activity. During her term of office, the world’s most talented choreographers, i.e., Birgit Cullberg, Mats Ek, Karine Saporta, Ohad Naharin, and Jo Stromgren, accepted the invitation to collaborate with her ensemble. These are the figures who set the most significant tends in the art of dance worldwide. Thanks to Ewa Wycichowska’s artistic vision, the face of the PDT evolved from ballet-form performances to the modern-time type: theatre of dance, which is characterised by going beyond the boundaries of genre, technique and style, freeing itself from traditional means of expression, becoming more and more interdisciplinary, searching for new theatre spaces and creative improvisation-based process of art making. While she headed the Polish Dance Theatre, its performances were seen by audiences of 40 countries on 5 continents. It was at her initiative that the stage of artistic search and debut for young dancers called Atelier worked at the Polish Theatre of Dance; it brought a number of outstanding artistic discoveries who are now renowned creators, e.g. Andrzej Adamczak, Paulina Wycichowska, Iwona Pasińska, Daniel Stryjecki, or Paweł Malicki, and became the form followed by many other theatres. Ewa Wycichowska is also an originator and artistic director of Dancing Poznań. In 1994, her pioneer initiative stimulated the Polish dance stage and created the teaching conditions for both professional and non-professional dancers; for many years it was and organisational phenomenon and a programme trademark known around Europe. As part of the Contemporary Dance Biennale, Ewa Wycichowska contucted pioneer Creative Lab cycles.

Prof. Ewa Wycichowska is one of the most outstanding people in the Polish history of the art of dance who changed the artistic and educational face of this field, which allows it to successfully compete with the achievements of European creators. As her creative work is closely connected with the Polish culture starting from her debut and including her most recent performance entitled “Lament. In memory of Tadeusz Różewicz”, she is a sort of an advocate of the Polish art of dance worldwide. Her magnificent performances have won prizes in Poland and abroad. Ewa Wycichowska has been honoured with such awards as: 1st Prize in the performers’ category at the 1st International Choreographic Competition in Łódź, Medal and Diploma of recognition of the Ministry of Culture and Art on the 100th birthday anniversary of Karol Szymanowski for the staging and choreography to “Stabat Mater”, Award of the Town of Łódź, Stanisław Wyspiański 1st degree Award for Young Creators, 200 Years of the Polish Ballet Medal, Wacław Niżyński Medal, Hetman’s Baton – Audience’s Award at the Theatre Summer in Zamość (three times, together with the Polish Dance Theatre), Fringe Firsts Award at the Festival in Edinburgh (together with the Polish Dance Theatre), Woman of the Year Title awarded by the Bussines Professional Women Club, Extraordinary Golden Mask – Award of Łódź’s Critics (Łódź), Medal “Ad Perpetuam Rei Memoriam” (for distinguished inhabitants of Great Poland), Main Award of the 3rd Contemporary Drama Review in Zielona Góra for the performance entitled “Transss” (together with the Polish Dance Theatre), Award of the Society of Authors and Composers for outstanding choreographic work, Great Poland Voivodeship Marshal’s Award for Great Merits to Culture, Great Seal of the City of Poznań – Award of President of the City of Poznań for merits to culture, “Reconnaissance” Award from the France – Pologne Institute in Lyon for many years of promotion of the French culture and art in Poland, Award of the Union of Polish Stage Artists for outstanding choreographic work, Award of the Section of Theatre Critics of the Polish Centre of the UNESCO’s International Theatre Institute ITI for the promotion of the Polish theatre culture abroad, Special Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage in recognition of merits to the Polish culture, Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage for outstanding personalities in the area of culture, field of dance, Artistic Award of the City of Poznań, or the Golden Medal Gloria Artis.

Professor Ewa Wycichowska is a juror at Polish and international dance competitions, a ministerial expert, Chairwoman of the Polish Choreotherapy Association, member of the International Dance Council (CID-UNESCO, Conseil International de la Danse), member of the H. Wieniawski Society in Poznań and member of numerous dance art-related councils.