Joanna Leśnierowska – curator, dramatist, critic. Born on 21 January 1976 in Poznań. After graduating in theatre science at the Jagiellonian University and short work at Poznań Nowy Theatre, she created perhaps the most complex, carefully planned and at the same time – most successful art project in the field of Polish contemporary dance of the 21th century: Old Brewery New Dance which since 2004 has combined presentation, production, educational and promotional activities. It is hard to imagine this project without Leśnierowska. Financed by Grażyna Kulczyk’s foundation (currently – Art Stations Foundation), the programme covers e.g. Alternative Dance Academy – a series of regular workshops with outstanding authors and teachers. Jonathan Burrows’ words are Leśnierowska’s motto: “One needs two legs, two hands and, most of all, a head to create a dance”. Old Brewery New Dance programme has therefore its characteristic profile – it focuses on critic dance, usually of a very intellectual character, sometimes erroneously regarded as conceptual choreography. At the same time, numerous projects carried out in collaboration with Stary Browar went beyond these assumptions, serving artists of various aesthetics and audiences interested in widely understood dance theatre, say.
As a student, Leśnierowska made her cirtic debut; her works, published mainly in “Didaskalia”, discussed both Western stars and the situation of Polish dance. She also published in magazines abroad – for instance in German “Theater der Zeit”, Israeli “Dance Today” or Czech “Taneční Zóna”. She is the author of a section dedicated to dance theatre in Dictionary of theatre science (Słownik wiedzy o teatrze), edited by D. Kosiński, A.Wypych-Gawrońska and A. Stafiej. She gave theatre science classes at the Jagiellonian University; currently she is a lecturer at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.
As a curator, she promoted a whole generation of dancers and choreographers. Participation in“ Solo Project”, Stary Browar’s residence programme, was an important step in career for many of them. Since 2006 she has been responsible for Old Brewery New Dance section at Malta Festival in Poznań. She invited for the festival Burrows, Charmatz, Rainer, Xavier Le Roy and Eszer Salamon, to name a few. In 2008, she re-launched the Polish Dance Platform, in collaboration Anna Hryniewska and “Zamek” Culture Centre. Two following editions of the Platform took place in Poznań.
She is a member and co-founder of the European Dance Houses Network (EDN); she is also a member of Aerowaves dance performance network. The “towarzystwo gimnastyczne” association, founded by her and Natalia Draganik, is a partner of DanceWeb Europe seated in Vienna.
As a dancer, Joanna Leśnierowska performed in productions of “towarzystwo gimnastyczne” – Obcojęzyczność and Nic; she also took part in Marysia Stokłosa’s project Right Hemisphere where she was responsible for narration. She also performed in Unknown.Seans by Renata Piotrowska. On 13 September 2011 the premiere of Rekonstrukcja (choreography by Leśnierowska) took place. Aleksandra Borys and Janusz Orlik as well as Leśnierowska performed in the performance. Currently, Hungarian choreographer Márta Ladjánszki works on a solo with Leśnierowska.