People of dance

Edyta Kozak

  • dancer
  • choreographer
  • curator
Zdjęcie: Edyta Kozak

Edyta Kozak. Photo: Private archieve

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Edyta Kozak is a dancer, choreographer, curator, author and producer of dance art events. She graduated from the Secondary Ballet School (where she received her dance artist diploma) and the Faculty of Ballet Pedagogy of the Academy of Music in Warsaw (currently the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw). She was a soloist at Teatr Wielki in Warsaw (1988- 1990) and Stadttheater in Bern, Switzerland (1990-1992) under François Klaus. While at the pinnacle of her career, she gave up classical ballet for contemporary dance, experimental forms, and conceptual non-dance. In 1993, she founded the NEI company, one of the first independent dance theater groups in Poland and the first of its kind in Warsaw. The company received a number of awards and honorable mentions, among other at the International Presentations of Contemporary Dance Forms in Kalisz (currently: Contact Zone). Together with NEI, Kozak created poetic stories about the alienation of contemporary individuals looking for their own paths and lost in their relations with fellow humans. Among those pieces were Gonitwa ciał (1993), Poza (1995), For 4 (1996), Without movement (1999). Kozak also developed pieces for extra-theatrical locales, confronting herself with random street and club audiences (e.g. Extra dry presented at the 2000 Street Art Festival; Kiss me featured at the 21st Century Dance Festival in Kiev). In 1994, she participated in the International Choreographers in Residency program, held as part of the American Dance Festival in Durham, USA, where she worked with contemporary dance teachers and choreographers from the USA and Europe.

Kozak spent ten years (1995-2005) serving as the president of the Association of   Independent Dancers, where she developed projects and was responsible for their respective artistic formulas, organization, and publicity. A non-profit organization, the Association associated dancers, choreographers and other artists interested in developing dance art to create performances, programs, productions, and original   projects related to contemporary dance promotion and education in Poland at the local, national and international level.

In the 1990s and the 2000s, Kozak curated a number of notable contemporary dance-related artistic events, i.e. Small Forms of Dance Theatre (1995-1999); +++ of dance (The pluses of dance) – a program 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 in 2005); Co-OPERACJA – a coop laboratory for choreographers from Poland, Switzerland and France (20062007), followed by presentations in Gdańsk, Geneva, Paris; Polish Dance Platform (2003, as part of the Body/Mind Festival).

In the late 1990s, Kozak suspended her choreographic activity and devoted herself  to creating an original program of the International Contemporary Dance Festival Body/Mind, along with projects supporting development of dance in Poland. She has remained involved in these activities to this day.

Kozak resumed her artistic activity in 2001, forming the Made Inc. duo with the multimedia artist Mirek Kowalczyk, which yielded three pieces, including the  conceptual presentation/installation/performance PLIK 01, which premiered at the International Festival of Live Arts Crossroads (2001). Other performances of the group were Rosa furiosa (2003) – an artistic fist fight and bragging rights contest between Kozak and Kowalczyk, and Patenty ciała – an exploration of the process of creating a performance (2004, Maubeuge/France). After another hiatus, Kozak returned with an interdisciplinary triptych, developed in collaboration with Roland Rowiński, and featuring an installation titled Dancing For You For One Minute (2007), a choreography titled Dancing For You Longer Than One Minute choreography (2009), and a feature film titled Dancing For You (2010). In 2011, she created an original piece called Folk? A ja się nie zgadzam!, and in 2013 she developed a solo titled Moje własne interview®Fanny Panda. In her oeuvre, Kozak takes on autobiographical, political, social, and artistic subjects.

Edyta Kozak is a laureate of numerous prizes and scholarships, among others the individual prize of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Poland (1996), and the ministry’s prize for popularizing the art of dance (2003).

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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