People of dance

Zdjęcie: Barbara Olkusznik

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An outstanding Polish dancer. She was born in 4 December 1942 in Warsaw and died on 2 January 1994 in Warsaw. She graduated from the Warsaw Ballet School in 1959 and immediately was engaged as a soloist in the Polish Dance Group directed by Eugeniusz Papliński. There she danced as Ballerina (Chopin’s Mazurek) and Zosia (Maklakiewicz’s Cagliosto w Warszawie). When the group was disbanded in 1961 and Palpiński became the director of the Warsaw Opera’s ballet group, Olkusznik joined the Opera in the season 1961–1962 . Soon she became popular and recognized for classical and demi-classical parts as well as Witold Gruca’s choreographies. In 1966 she became a soloist in the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw. She created, together with Stanisław Szymański, an outstanding and famous duo. She was one of the greatest individualities of the postwar Polish ballet stage, recognized for her female charm and stunning beauty. Her most famous parts include: Chloe (in Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé), Euridice (in Stravinsky’s Orphaeus), Kolombina (in Szymanowski’s Mandragora), Queen (in Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat), Juliet (in Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet), Cinderella (in Prokofiev’s Cinderella), Bribe (in Różycki’s Pan Twardowski). She played solo parts in TV programmes and films as well as on the stage. In the 70’s she went on a long tour in the USA. Just before dying, seriously ill, she took part in the film dedicated to Stanisław Szymański. She died at the age of 51.

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