People of dance

Zdjęcie: Elwira Piorun

Fot. Katarzyna Chmura-Cegiełkowska.

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Elwira Piorun – dancer, teacher, choreographer. She graduated from the Ballet School in Warszaw and in Ballet Pedagogy from the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw (currently: the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music). For many years she was a soloist of the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Warsaw (leading roles in Giselle and Fortepianissimo set to Chopin’s music). She danced in choreographies of Georges Balanchine, Maurice Béjart, Mats Ek, Teresa Kujawa, Witold Gruca and others. For eight years (1990–1997) she worked in Germany (Hagen and Dortmund) – she danced leading roles in performances including Prometheus, Chopin et les Femmes Fragiles, Verhaengte Spiegel. When she went back to Poland, she danced in choreographies of other authors, but she also started to create her first own choreographies, such as: Nad milczącą krawędzią to Schubert, Mahler and Albionioni’s music and Tylko raz w życiu by Dmitri Shostakovich (together with Karol Urbański). She also created stage movement for opera productions – La Rondine (by Giacomo Puccini) and Salome (by Richard Strauss). She is a perfect example of how a dancer with classical background may convert into contemporary dance. Piorun’s extensive experience varies from opera theatre, through modern dance theatres, to her own group using contemporary and jazz dance.

In 2005 she worked at the Polish Dance Theatre as a teacher and dancer, taking part in choreographies Barocco by Jacek Przybyłowicz as well as Tango with Lady M. and Cases of Mr von K. by Ewa Wycichowska.In 2005 she founded, together with Włodzimierz Kaczkowski (in most cases responsible for direction of the group’s performances), Zawirowania Dance Theatre. The first group’s premiere, Hold me tight (choreography by Piorun, featuring dancers of the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera) took place in 2004, before the official formation of the group. The artist created also choreographies for the other group’s performances, i.e. Kill if you Love produced in collaboration with the Atelier of the Polish Dance Theatre (featuring Piorun, Paulina Wycichowska and Bartłomiej Raźnikiewicz) and W stronę światła… z zawiązanymi oczami in which she danced with Barbara Czajkowska. In the theatre she regularly co-produced group choreographies in which she also performed (After Hours, Nic, tylko błękit, Innocent when you dream – choreographic consultation) and featured performances of other artists such as Juan de Torres and Daniela Merlo (Chopin ambiente, Spanish part, choreography to Polish part was created by Piorun) and Daniel Abreu Fuera de Campo.

Together with the group, she performed in Berlin, Budapest, Odessa, Prague, Vitebsk, Madrid, Banska Bistrica and Crete. She is an active promoter of contemporary dance in Warsaw. She organized, together with the theatre, Zawirowania Dance Theatre Festival, taking place each year in June, and Meetings with Dance Theatre, taking place once a month at Okęcka Sala Widowiskowa („Włochy” Community Centre). As a teacher, she collaborates both with culture/community centres and commercial dance schools.

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