People of dance

Zdjęcie: Iwona Wojnicka

Iwona Wojnicka as Pola Nireńska in the "Warsaw Dance Museum" project. Photo: Marcin Woł

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Iwona Wojnicka is a dancer and choreographer. She creates stage dance projects, pieces, and performances. In her work, she is particularly fond of the German Ausdruckstanz  and its historical variants. She practices empirical choreology and collaborates with composers and visual artists. Since 2003, she has been the leader of the Artistic Collective Format Zero.


She graduated in sociology from the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology at the University of Warsaw, and completed postgraduate studies in dance theory at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. She also completed a four year course Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies at Eurolab in Berlin, based on a certified method developed by the Laban Institute of Movement Studies in New York. She also works as a hatha yoga movement recreation instructor.


In her pieces, Iwona Wojnicka explores the boundaries of choreography, implanting it with methods drawn from other fields of art. Using the choreographic response methodology, she employs such strategies as remake, reconstruction, and re-composition, as well as the fields in which definitions lose their boundaries, e.g. the cinematic technique of making of and its applications in choreography. Apart from that, she also pursues movement formations, combining her sociological background with an intensive practice of dance choirs.


Based on these interest, Iwona Wojnicka developed Cry Over, a 2015 piece referring to Pola Nireńskas pre-war body of work and exploring the German Ausdruckstanz according to its founder, Mary Wigman. Wojnickas choreological research conducted in European rehearsal rooms laid the foundation for the Warsaw Dance Museum project, in which she explores the dimensions of choreographic responses to the work of popular Warsaw dancers. Her formation-making strategies have been applied in Global Water Dances Poland, where she has served as choreographer since 2013.


She is an avid believer in collective work with artists active in other fields. Her collaborations have yielded some of her latest work, such as IM, developed with Gosia Gajdemska and audiovisual composer Wiktor Podgórski, in which the artists experiment with the limits of movement and music in techno culture. In Cry Over, she worked with Gosia Gajdemska, Roman Woźniak and composer India Czajkowska. Working on Warsaw Dance Museum, she collaborated with Artur Grabarczyk, Gosia Gajdemska, and Bartek Ostrowski, with whom she analysed the conditions for artistic and choreographic response in historical contexts. Her choreography Indifference, developed as part of Global Water Dances Poland in collaboration with Marek Zadłużny, Marta Kawecka, Tadeusz Sudnik and Rafał Smoliński, the artists experimented with the musicality of movement and dance and music formations. Wojnickas The Short Story of Everything, developed in collaboration with Michael Getman and Michał Góral, poses a speculation on choreographic making of with respect to dance-, music-, and visual responses.


Iwony Wojnickas earlier projects chiefly involved international choreographic projects which enabled her to freely acquire knowledge, expand her horizons, and connecting differences. Some of her major projects of that time include the European Laban Platform 2012 – 2014 at the New Dance School in the Hague, Laban Atelier in Bratislava, and Discover Your Personal Movement with the Polish Dance Theatre, featuring Joan van der Mast and Ciel Werts.


Particularly important to Iwona Wojnicka was her multi-annual international project Butoh Barter, which she developed with Atsushi Takenouchi and Hiroko Komiya. From 2003 to 2010, their pieces Tanz Cooperativa and Gen were presented several times at TR Warszawa, Pracownia Wschodnia, and the Street Art Festival Sztuka Ulicy. In 2006, Wojnicka developed a large-scale butoh opera Dance of the Forest together with Kan Katsura, Chorea Theatre, and Limen Theatre, commissioned by the Cross Culture Festival in Warsaw.


Iwona Wojnickas dance biography has included practice derived from three movement styles: from 2013 through 2013, she worked within the bounds of the Laban movement analysis. During her internship at Codarts (Rotterdam), Wojnicka studied various applications of the Laban movement analysis in dance and choreography, and participated in workshops with such artists as Jiří Kylián and Michael Schumacher. She also studied Laban Based Modern Dance with Joan van der Mast, and mastered the adaptations of Labans concepts in choreographic work as part of coaching with Ciel Werts. Between 2003 and 2010, she practiced Jinen Butoh with Atsushi Takenouchi and Kan Katsura. She also made friends with the Berlin-based Yuko Kaseki, whose work she has often drawn on. From 1996 to 2001 she performed with the Stefan Niedziałkowski Pantomime Studio.


Iwona Wojnicka is a member of several Polish and international organizations, including the Capital City of Warsaw Commission for Dance, and the Berlin-based Eurolab.



For a detailed artist portfolio in Polish and English, visit:

Iwona Wojnicka w spektaklu „Po Krzyku”, światło: Roma Woźniak. Fot. Marcin Wołoszczak
Od lewej: Gosia Gajdemska, Iwona Wojnicka w spektaklu „ Po Krzyku”, Fot. Marcin Wołoszczak.
Iwona Wojnicka (trzecia od lewej) z Formatem Zero oraz Marek Zadłużny i Pracownia Teatru Tańca z Zielonej Góry, Global Water Dances, Zielona Góra 2017. Fot. Marta Kawecka.
Iwona Wojnicka w improwizacji „Krótka historia wszystkiego”. Fot. Łukasz Brodowicz.
Iwona Wojnicka, Gosia Gajdemska w spektaklu „I''M”. Fot. Marta Kawecka.
Iwona Wojnicka w spektaklu „I''M”. Fot. Marta Kawecka.
Projekt „Warszawskie Muzeum Tańca”: Artur Grabarczyk (Feliks Parnell), Iwona Wojnicka (Pola Nireńska, w środku), Bartosz Ostrowski (Janina Mieczyńska). Fot. Marcin Wołoszczak
Iwona Wojnicka w ramach projektu „Warszawskie Muzeum Tańca” jako Pola Nireńska. Fot. Marcin Wołoszczak,
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