People of dance

Zdjęcie: Bożena Kociołkowska

Anna Steller. Portret. Fot. Jakub Wittchen

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Bożena Kociołkowska

Dancer, teacher, choreographer. She graduated from the State Secondary Ballet School in Warsaw in 1960. In 1961, she made her debut in the Grand Theatre in Warsaw, playing Odette-Odile in Swan Lake. She worked at the Grand Theatre till 1986 and was brilliant in many classical and contemporary roles. In 1964–1983, she performed in nearly every country in Europe, but also in the USA and Cuba. She performed in many films, TV programmes and performances, including The Rite of Spring, Orpheus and Eurydice, Salmo gioioso, Claire de Lune. She received numerous foreign scholarships, among others: Centre Intemational d’Art Choreographique in Paris, Polucca Schule in Dresden, Inter-Balet in Budapest, International Ballet in Havana, Ruth Page Foundation at the School of Dance in Chicago, Centro di Danza in Rome, Giordano Jazz Dance in Chicago. She collaborated with many outstanding choreographers and teachers around the world, including: Natalia Konius, Alexei Chichinadze, Alicia Alonso, Serge Lifar, Birgit Cullberg, Asaf Messerer, Maya Plisetskaya, Pierre Lacotte, Alberto Mendez, Alfred Rodrigues, Anton Dolin, Leon Woïzikovsky and others. In 1979 she graduated in pedagogy of dance from the State Music School (Faculty of Musical Education), and in 1991 from the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH), in marketing of professional works of art (postgraduate programme, Faculty of Foreign Trade). In 1981–1996 she created choreographies for 35 music and drama performances as well as for ballets: Straussiada, Miscelanea, Little Red Riding Hood.

In 1992–1993 she was the art director of the State Opera and the ballet of Baltic Philharmonic; in 1993–1994 she was the art director of the ballet of the Grand Theatre in Łódź, and in 1994–1995 she was the art director of the State Ballet School in Warsaw. Since 1998 she has been the art director of the Secondary Ballet School in Bytom. She also was the artistic and organisational director of the 1st and 2nd “Dance of the World” Festival (Gdańsk 1991 and Warsaw 1996) as well as the artistic and organisational director of the 1st Polish and German Contemporary Dance Workshops “Dance for tolerance” in Łódź (1994). In 2003 she was the juror of the International Dance Competition in Brno. She was a teacher of the Academy of Music in Warsaw (1980), a teacher of the State Secondary Ballet School in Warsaw (1993), ballet master of Teatro dell’ Opera in Rome (1981–1982), a teacher of ballet schools in Italy, Germany, France, a teacher of Internationales Tanzprojekt in Aachen, Bielefeld and Bonn (1992), Internationale Tanzwerkstatt in Bonn (1993), at the 1st World Dance Congres in San Francisco. She is also a social activist. In 1991–1994 she was the president of the Ballet Section of ZASP, and in 1992–1998 a member of the International Commission of Art Dance Networks in Bonn; in 1995–1999 she was the president of the Choreography Section of ZAiKS.

Most important parts:

Odette-Odile (Swan Lake, 1961, 1966, 1973), Queen of the Copper Mountain (The Stone Flower1961), The Girl (Four Temperaments, 1962), Miller’s Wife (The Three-Cornered Hat, 1962), The Girl (Enchanted Inn 1962), Eurydice (Orpheus, 1963), Soloist (The Rite of Srping, 1965), Bride (Harnasie, 1966), Kitri (Don Quixote, 1967), Aegina (Spartakus, 1968), Fairy (Cinderella, 1969), Juliet (Romeo and Juliet, 1975), title role in Miss Julie (1975), Prima ballerina (Les Sylphides, 1975), Mirta (Giselle, 1976), title role in Fedra (1978)

Most important awards:

Gold Cross of Merit (1979), Gold Honourable Mention “For Merit to Warsaw” (1979, 1980), Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1986), Badge of Merit to Culture (1989), 1st Level Individual Award of the Centre for Art Education CEA (2001), Award “Muza 2003” in the category of culture.

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