People of dance

Ewa Wycichowska

  • choreographer
  • culture manager
  • pedagogue
  • dancer
Zdjęcie: Ewa Wycichowska

Pictured: Ewa Wycichowska. Photo by Krzysztof Fabiański

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Ewa Wycichowska (prof. dr hab.) is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, professor of music and head of the Dance Department at the Fryderyk Chopin Music University in Warsaw, where she co-authored the programs of two new majors, Choreography and Dance Theory and Contemporary Dance, as well as the curriculum of Postgraduate Studies in Dance Theory. She is currently a full professor at the Academy of Physical Education in Poznań and Artistic Director of Dancing FairPlayce Poznań. From 1988 to 2016, she was the general and artistic director of the Polish Dance Theatre – Poznań Ballet.

She graduated from the State Ballet College in Poznań and the Academy of Music in Warsaw (majoring in dance teaching methodology); she also studied modern dance at L’Academy Internationale de la Dance in Paris, and completed postgraduate studies for managers of culture at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.

Wycichowska was a long-time principal dancer of the Grand Theatre in Łódź, and one of the few Polish woman dancers to achieve international success in both classical and contemporary repertoire. In the course of her dancing career, she has collaborated with the likes of Witold Borkowski (Romeo and Juliet), Kurt Jooss (The Green Table), Conrad Drzewiecki (The Firebird), Teresa Kujawa (Medea), Boris Ejfman (Gayané), Gray Veredon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Wolfgang Amadeus), and Jerzy Makarowski (Carmen). She also created legendary roles in her own choreographies (Faust goes rock, Possessed Violin Player). She last performed in a choreographic monodrama Sybillewo (2019) by Paulina Wycichowska.

Wycichowska’s choreographic debut was the 1980 piece Głos kobiecy (z nieznanej poetki) [Female Voice (by An Unknown Poet)], developed in collaboration with the composer Krzysztof Knittl and staged at the Grand Theatre in Łódź. She is the author of over 80 choreographies staged in Poland, Europe and the US, among others Stabat Mater, The Rite of Spring, Faust goes Rock, Dangerous Liaisons, Tango with Lady M., Transs…, Battle Between Carnival and Lent, Spring-Effatha, Lament, and Divine Comedy. Her choreographic collaborations also include prominent theater, opera and film directors, among others Jerzy Jarocki, Erwin Axer, Maciej Prus, Krzysztof Zanussi, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Adam Hanuszkiewicz, Krystyna Janda, Krzysztof Zaleski, Eugeniusz Korin and Bogusław Kierc.

Between 1981 and 1984 she was a lecturer at the Faculty of Rhytmics of the Academy of Music in Łódź, and from 1985 through 1988 she taught contemporary dance at the State Ballet School in Łódź. From 1999 until 2021 she was a member of faculty at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw (formerly Academy of Music in Warsaw).  From 2006 to 2010, she taught at the Kielce School of Social Sciences (currently Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce); from 2007 onwards, she was a collaborating lecturer at the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź, and from 2011 onwards, she also taught at Poznań School of Social Sciences, where she co-created a new major: Dance. In 2015, she co-organized the new major, Dance in Physical Culture, at the Academy of Physical Education in Poznań. She has been the supervisor of many doctorates and supervisor of postdoctoral research, as well as the supervisor of the honorary doctorate of Prof. Roderick Lange at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.

While at the helm of the Polish Dance Theatre, she demonstrated a rare ability to combine artistic talent with academic activity and managerial aptitude. During her term as director, some of the world’s most prominent choreographers, such as Birgit Cullberg, Mats Ek, Dominique Bagouet, Karine Saporta, Ohad Naharin, Jo Strømgren, accepted invitations to work with the Polish Dance Theatre. Thanks to Ewa Wycichowska’s artistic vision, the company has evolved from a ballet theater company to a contemporary dance theater, characterized by its ability to transcend generic, technical and stylistic boundaries, break free from traditional means of expression, strive for interdisciplinarity, search for new theater platforms and creative improvisation-based artistic processes.

During Wycichowska’s tenure as director, the Polish Dance Theatre’s performances were presented to audiences in 40 countries on five continents. She was the originator of, the Atelier, a stage for dance exploration and debuts, which operated at the Polish Dance Theatre from 1999 to 2016, yielding several excellent artistic discoveries, and fostering the emergence of a group of now-established artists, including Andrzej Adamczak, Paulina Wycichowska, Iwona Pasinska, Daniel Stryjecki, Pawel Malicki. The Atelier set a new standard which has since been emulated by many other theaters. Ewa Wycichowska was also the author and artistic director of the Dancing Poznań International Contemporary Dance Festival and Workshops (1994-2016). As part of the Contemporary Dance Biennial, Ewa Wycichowska led the pioneering Creative Laboratories series.

In recognition of her merits, Wycichowska was presented with a number of prizes, including the 1st prize in the Performers category at the 1st Polish Choreographic Competition in Łódź; Medal and Certificate of Merit from the Ministry of Culture and Art on the Centenary of Karol Szymanowski’s birth for her staging and choreography of Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater; City of Łódź Award; Wyspiański Youth Award (first degree); Medal Commemorating the Bicentennial of Polish Ballet; Vaslav Nijinsky Medal; three audience awards at the Zamość Theatre Summer festival (with the Polish Dance Theatre); Fringe First Special Award in Edinburgh (with the Polish Dance Theatre) for Faun’s Solitude; Woman of the Year awarded by the Business Professional Women Club; Special Golden Mask Award from the critics of the City of Łódź; “Ad Perpetuam Rei Memoriam” Medal for her merits to Greater Poland; Grand Prix of the 3rd Polish Drama Competition in Zielona Góra for Transss (with the Polish Dance Theatre); Polish Society of Authors and Composers Award for extraordinary choreographic achievements; Marshal of the Wielkopolskie Province for merits to culture; Grand Seal of the City of Poznań – Mayor of Poznań Prize for merits to culture; “Reconnaissance” award of the France-Pologne Institute in Lyon for long-time promotion of French art and culture in Poland; Terpsichore Award from the Artists of Polish Scenes Society; Award of the Polish Theatre Critics Section of the International Theatre Institute ITI – UNESCO for the promotion of Polish theater culture abroad; Special Award of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in appreciation of her contribution to Polish culture (category: dance); Artistic Prize of the City of Poznań, Gold Hipolit Cegielski “Verba Docent – Exempla Trahunt” medal; Silver and Gold Medal for merits to culture “Gloria Artis”. She was also named an “outstanding exemplar of Organic Work” and honored for her “distinguished services to the City of Poznań.”


-1980, Głos kobiecy/ Female Voice (music: K. Knittel)

-1982, Koncert f-moll/ Concerto in F minor (music: F. Chopin)

-1982, Serenada/ Serenade (music: M. Karłowicz)

-1982, Stabat Mater (music: K. Szymanowski)

-1983, Karłowicz/Interpretacje/ Karłowicz/Interpretations (music:M.Karłowicz)

-1984, Republika – rzecz publiczna/ Republic –  A Public Thing (music: G. Ciechowski)

-1985, Cień/ Shadow (music: M. K. Przybylski)

-1985, Miriam (music: M. K. Przybylski)

-1985, Cień II/ Shadow No. 2 (music: M. K. Przybylski)

-1985, Pax et bonum (music: J. Łuciuk)

-1986, Faust goes rock (music: The Shade)

-1989, SamotnośćFauna/ Faun’s Solitude (music: N.M.Kuźnik)

-1989, Święto wiosny/ The Rite of Spring (music: I. Stravinsky)

-1990, Fantazja na Harnasia/ Fantasy for Harnaś (music: W. Kilar)

-1990, Symfonia koncertująca Es-dur / Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat major (music: W.A.Mozart)

-1991, Skrzypek Opętany/ Possessed Violin Player (music: M. Małecki)

-1991, Bachianas Brasileiras (music: H. Villa-Lobos)

-1992, Inni/ Others (music: M. Horndasch)

-1992, Mournes (music: O. Golijov)

-1992, Album z tego świata/ Album of This World (music: K. Dębski)

-1993, Misterium słońca, Misterium ziemi / Miracle of the Sun, Miracle of the Earth (music: A. Ginastera)

-1993, Święto wiosny/ The Rite of Spring (music: I. Stravinsky)

-1994, Szatan w Goraju/ Satan in Goraj (music: K. Knittel)

-1994, Już się zmierzcha/ It’s Dusk Already (music: H. M. Górecki)

-1994, Introdukcja i Polonez/ Introduction and Polonaise (music: F. Chopin)

-1995, Kilara Exodus Polskie/ Kilar’s Polish Exodus (music: W. Kilar)

-1995, Jezioro łabędzie / Swan Lake (Prologue and Act 3) (music: P. Tchaikovsky)

-1995, Dziecko Słońca/ The Sun’s Child (music: M. Biliński)

-1996, Niebezpieczne związki/ Dangerous Liaisons (music: J.S. Bach, E. Satie)

-1997, Daina (music: T. Szeligowski, Z. Łowżył)

-1997, Transss… Nieprawdziwe zdarzenie progresywne / Transss… An Unreal Progressive Event (music: L.van Beethoven, Z. Łowżył)

-1998, +_ skończoność/ +_ finity (music: M. Nyman L. Ferrari)

-2000, Tango z Lady M./ Tango with Lady M. (music: L. Możdżer, A. Piazzolla)

-2002, Walka karnawału z postem/ Battle Between Carnival and Lent (music: Z. Łowżył, K. Wiki Nowikow)

-2003, … a ja tańczę/ … and I’m dancing (music: J. Wierzchowiski)

-2005, Przypadki Pana von K. / Adventures of Mr Von K. (music: L. Zielińska, F. Schubert)

-2006, Jezioro łabędzie/ Swan Lake (Prologue and Act 3, music: P. Tchaikovsky)

Stabat Mater (music: K. Szymanowski)

-2007, Carpe diem (music: Zbigniew Górny, Marcin Górny)

-2007, Wiosna – Effatha / Spring –Effatha (music: Jacek Wierzchowski)

-2009, Komeda – Sextet (music: K. Komeda – Trzciński, A. Zubel)

-2011, SPOTKANIA – w dwóch niespełnionych AKTACH / Meetings in Two Unfulfilled Acts (music: K. Knittel)

-2012, FootBall@… (music: Krzysztof “Wiki” Nowikow)

-2013, Szkoda, że Cię tu nie ma / Wish You Were Here

-2013, XL. Polish Dance Theatre wczoraj i dziś / Polish Dance Theatre Yesterday and Today – audio-video-performance; direction, script, choreography and development of original choreography, light direction; Polish Dance Theatre – Poznań Ballet, titles and premieres of individual episodes:

Don Juan i inni / Don Juan and others
Krzesany i inne tańce / Krzesany and other dances

– Yesterday… and today,
– Party… w cieniu / Party… in the shadow
– Samotność Fausta / The Loneliness of Faust
– (Nie)bezpieczne związki / Dangerous Liaisons
– Tango wczoraj i dziś / Tango yesterday and today
–  … a ja znowu tańczę / … and I’m dancing

– Pora na CARPE DIEM / CARPE DIEM time

– Projekt XL

– 2014, Dobrze, że tu jesteś (music: Jan Sebastian Bach, Georges Bizet, Igor Strawiński, Astor Piazzolla and others, Polish Dance Theatre)

– 2015, Lament. Tadeusz Różewicz in Memoriam, (music: Krzysztof „Wiki”  Nowikow, Polish Dance Theatre)

–  2018, Krzesła/Chairs (music: Aldona Nawrocka, Teatr LOGOS)

– 2019, Motus Animi Continuus (music: Aldona Nawrocka, Marin Marais, Gdańsk Dance Festival 2019)

–  2019, Czyściec/Purgatory (music: Jacek Wierzchowski, Teatr LOGOS)

– 2020, Inferno (music: Jacek Wierzchowski, Aldona Nawrocka, J.S. Bach, Teatr LOGOS)

– 2021, Paradiso (music: Aldona Nawrocka, Hildegard of Bingen, Teatr LOGOS)

– 2021, Święto wiosny/The Rite of Spring (music: Igor Stravinsky, Baltic Opera)





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