People of dance

Zdjęcie: Edyta Kozak

Edyta Kozak. Photo: Private archieve

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Edyta   Kozak dancer,   choreographer, promoter and organizer of many contemporary dance events. Currently, the director of the International Contemporary Dance Festival Body/Mind (since 2001), the president of Body/Mind Foundation, one of the   main coordinators of the Dance Congress in Warsaw (2011). She graduated from the Secondary Ballet School (certificate of artist-dancer) and the Academy of   Music (Faculty of Ballet Pedagogy; currently the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music) in Warsaw. She was a soloist in the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw   (19881990) and Stadttheater in Bern (Swizterland: 199092) managed by   François Klaus. She is one of the most spectacular examples of giving up   classical ballet and taking up contemporary dance, and finally becoming   fascinated by experimental forms and conceptual non-dance. One can see this, for   instance, in the Festival Body/Mind and other events organized by the   foundation of Kozak as well as in the latest installation of the artist and   her solo performance Dancing for you longer than one minute. Her artistic path was influenced   by contemporary dance classes and workshops in which she participated in   19921997 (such places and artists as: Jazzex, NDT, Scapino, Hans van Mannen,   Steve Paxton, Irene Hultman, Gery Hulighan). In 1994 she took part in the   programme International Choreographers in Residency as part of American Dance   Festival in Durham (USA work with contemporary dance teachers and   choreographers from the United States and Europe: contact improvisation,   video dance, dance compositions, theory, own performances). She won many awards and scholarships, including an infidel award of the Minister of   Culture (1996) and for promoting dance art (2003).


For ten years (19952005) Edyta Kozak was the president of the Association of   Independent Dancers in which she created projects, was responsible for their   artistic formula, organisation and promotion. The non-profit Association   gathered dancers, choreographers and other artists interested in developing   dance art who created performances, programmes, productions and original   projects related to contemporary dance promotion and education in Poland at local, national and international level.


In the early 1990s she founded the group NEI, one of the first independent dance theatre groups in Poland and the first in Warsaw. She was its dancer and   choreographer, collaborating with many artists from Poland, France and the   USA. The theatre presented its performances in Warsaw in such places as Teatr   Wielki, The Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Tęcza Cinema-Theatre and at the festivals in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia,   the USA and Ukraine. The group won awards and honourable mentions, among   others, at the International Presentations of Contemporary Dance Forms in   Kalisz (currently: Contact Zone).She created, together with NEI, poetic   stories about the alienation of modern human lost in interpersonal relations,  seeking his own path. These performances include: Gonitwa ciał (1993),   Poza(1995), For 4 (1996), Without movement (1999). Her performances   took place also in non-theatre spaces to confront with random audiences of   the street and club (Extra dry festival Street Art 2000, Kiss me   Festival Dance of the 21th Century in Kiev). In the late 1990s   she abandoned choreography and devoted herself to creating an original   programme of the International Contemporary Dance Festival Body/Mind and   projects supporting development of dance in Poland. She is involved in these activities to date.


In the   1990s and in the first decade of the 21th century, she was the curator of   important contemporary dance related artistic events, i.e. Small Forms of   Dance Theatre (19951999); +++ of dance (The pluses of dance) a programme hosted by the National Theatre in Warsaw (2004); Jagniątków: Move the Mount   an interdisciplinary laboratory for chorographers and artists of other fields   of art from Poland and Germany (as part of the Year of The Polish-German   Collaboration, 1st Edition 2005); Co-OPERACJA a collaboration laboratory   for choreographers from Poland, Switzerland and France (20062007), presentation of works in Gdańsk, Geneva, Paris; the Polish Dance Platform   (2003, as part of the Festival Body/Mind). The project Go! Go! Dance, carried   out be the Foundation Body/Mind in 20092010 is also interesting. In the face   of lack in space for dance, Polish dancers and foreign guests took part in an alternative dance marathon, performing all night in the windows of the Club   Nowy Wspaniały Świat (Brave New World).


Kozak got   back to artistic activity in 2001, by creating , together with an multimedia   artist Mirek Kowalczyk, a group Made Inc. In this collaboration, they created   a conceptual presentation/installation/performance PLIK 01 which had   its premiere at the International Festival of Live Arts Crossroads (2001). Other performances of the group: Rosa furiosa (2003) an artistic   fist and achievement fight between a choreographer and the fine artist and Patenty   ciała which explores the   essence of the process of creating a performance (2004,   Maubeuge/France).


In 2007, after another break in her artistic activity, Edyta Kozak offered her creative space to audiences, by creating an installation Dancing For You   For One Minute, which was the beginning of the triptych, together with   the performance Dancing For You Longer Than One Minute and a feature   film Dancing For You. To sum up: there is an interactive installation Dancing   for you for one minute, spectacle-performance Dancing for you longer   than one minute and a feature film inspired by this performance. In the   first one, a spectator is allowed to play the role of dancer-choreographer. A   film documenting this project, produced at the 7th Festival   Body/Mind (2008) was featured in the solo of Kozak directed by Roland   Rowiński Dancing for you longer than minute, which was premiered (and   was preceded with work in progress presentations) at the following edition of the Festival (2009).   In this piece, being a kind of lecture performance and an autobiographical statement of the   artist, fictional casting/meeting with the director and self-creation mix with intriguing episodes of the artists life from the ballet school to   this day. By mixing various dance conventions, classing ballet in   particular, with authentic expression of involved spectators and with the   records of their spontaneous dance in a closed space, audience is kept in   suspense and the performance receives an additional context. Dancing for   you was chosen the Surprise of 2008 in a professional survey of the   portal NowyTaniec.PL.


A dance   film Dancing 4 U by Roland Rowiński, with the scenario by Kozak and featuring her, Małgorzata Kożuchowska, Magdalena Walach, Paweł Królikowski   and actors starring in TV series, was based on the solo of Kozak.


Dancinf for you longer than one minute. Fot. Marta Ankiersztejn.
Danicng for you longer than one minute. Fot. Marta Ankiersztejn.
Dancing for you longer than one minute. Fot. Marta Ankiersztejn.
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