People of dance

Zdjęcie: Leszek Bzdyl

Eden. Fot. Tomasz Zerek.

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Leszek Bzdylis a dancer, actor, choreographer, director, and founder and artistic director of Teatr Dada von Bzdülöw. In 1990 he graduated in history from the University of Wrocław. His professional career started in 1987: in 1987–1990 he was an actor of Henryk Tomaszewskis Wrocław Mime Theatre, and in 1990–1992 he worked for Wojciech Misiuros Teatr Ekspresji (performing in College no 24,Idole perwersji,ZUN,Dantończycy,Umarli potrafią tańczyć).

He founded Teatr Dada von Bzdülöw in 1993 together with Katarzyna Chmielewska, to become the theatre’s director, choreographer and leading performer. He has directed over twenty productions of the theatre, among them W cieniu rozkwitających dziewcząt(1994),Zagłada ludu, albo moja wątroba jest sensu(1994),Magnolia(2002), Strategia(2003)and Kilka błyskotliwych spostrzeżeń (a la Gombrowicz), 2004; and co-directed (with Katarzyna Chmielewska) and co-choreographed (Katarzyna Chmielewska and associates) many other pieces. Over almost 20 years of its existence, the ensemble has developed its own characteristic aesthetics, combining theatre, dance and a great potential for self-reference. The theatre’s performances are often inspired by literature (Schwab, Gombrowicz, Vian, etc.), but also by theatre and dance as art forms with changeable performance frameworks and shifting relation with the audience.

The group’s piece Red Grass (2009) was presented at the Polish Dance Platform 2010 and their Factor T (2008) was named the best dance performance in a survey carried out by the website among dance professionals at the end of 2009. Subsequently, the company produced a collective piece, Le Sacre(2011), which draws on Stravinsky/Nijinsky’s The Rite of Spring; Bzdyl’s collaboration with Chmilewska, Duety niestniejące(2011); and Zagraj To, czyli 17 tańców o CZYMŚ(2013). Bzdyl performed with Teatr Dada von Bzdülöw at many festivals in Poland and over 20 other European countries, as well as in India, the USA, Israel and Palestine. Currently, the company has its permanent headquarters, where they hold various workshops, classes, educational projects and stage smaller-scale pieces. The headquarters, located in a former municipal library in Gdańsk’s Wrzeszcz district and thus called Biblioteka Tańca [Dance Library], serves as a practice space for artists and educational centre.

In 1994–1995 Leszek Bzdyl co-operated with Wojciech Mochniej and Melissa Monteros’ Gdańsk Dance Theatre, performing in Pamiętania,Na marginesieiPuste pokoje.

He participated in many international projects, including Landscape X(Interkult, Stockholm, 1997),In the bodyandPapugaj(Baltic Dance University, Gdańsk, 2000),Drop Dead Gorgeous(co-production of the Dada Theatre and UK’s Vincent Dance Theatre, 2001 Kilka Błyskotliwych Spostrzeżeń− Trans Danse Europe (Avignon, Brussels, Helsinki, Prague, Reykjavik, 2003/2004),Out of Bounds/Faktor T(Dance Advance, Philadelphia, USA, 2007/2008) andCo-operation(CDN, Paris, Festival La Batie; Geneva, Opera, 2006).

Since 1994 Bzdyl has co-operated as a director, choreographer, stage movement designer and actor with dramatic theatres across Poland, with Piotr Cieplak being his regular collaborator. His most important dramatic roles are Charlie in Charlie bokserem directed by P. Cieplak, (Wybrzeże Theatre in Gdańsk, 2010), Kaliban in Burza [The Tempest] directed by Julia Wernio (Summer Stage of Miejski Theatre in Gdynia, 1999), David in Niezidentyfikowane szczątki ludzkie [Unidentified Human Remains], directed by Piotr Kruszczyński (Miejski Theatre in Gdynia, 2000), Clarin in Życie snem [Life is a Dream] by Pedro Calderon de la Barca, directed by Julia Wernio, Miejski Theatre in Gdynia, 2003).

He choreographed over 50 dramatic performances, including Opowiadania dla dzieci (directed by P. Cieplak, The National Theatre in Warsaw, 2007),Albośmy to jacy tacy(directed by P. Cieplak, Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw, 2007), TangoandKosmos(directed by J. Jarocki, The National Theatre in Warsaw, 2009, 2005),Władza (directed by Jan Englert, The National Theatre, 2005),Akropolis. Rekonstrukcje(directed by Michael Marmarinos, Współczesny Theatre in Wrocław, 2009),Taniec Delhi (directed by I. Viripayev, The National Theatre in Warsaw, 2010), Sen nocy letniej[A Midsummer Night’s Dream] (directed by Bożena Suchocka, Ateneum Theatre in Warsaw, 2012),Nieskończona historia(directed by Piotr Cieplak, Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw, 2012). Apart from the above artists Leszek Bzdyl has collaborated with such directors as: Zbigniew Brzoza, Gabriel Getzky, Jarosław Gajewski, Edward Wojtaszek, Paweł Szkotak, Jacek Głomb, Waldemar Śmigasiewicz, Paweł Kamza, Sławomir Batyra and others.

Recently, Bzdyl has directed two drama performances:Cyrano de Bergeracby Edmond Rostand at the Modrzejewska Theatre in Legnica, andZielone Zoo at OCH Theatre in Warsaw (2010), which he has also written.

In 1997–2000 Bzdyl was the man behind the series of artistic events calledDzień Pięknego Towarzystwa[A Day of A Beautiful Company]held at the Miejski Theatre in Gdynia. In 2002 he founded, and then coordinated until 2007, the festival Korporacja Tańca in Gdańsk, which was gathering dance artists from Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot, and stimulating their collaborations.

Bzdyl is an award-winning artists. Among his achievements he may boast: the Award of the Mayor of Gdańsk (1998), the Award of the Mayor of Gdynia (1999), the Award of the Minister of National Education (1999), the Theatre Award of the Marshal of the Pomerania Province (2006), the International Theatre Award Theatre Pasta (India, 2007), and Decoration for Merit to Polish Culture (2010). He received a number of fellowships and scholarships from the City of Gdańsk and the Office of the Marshall of the Pomerania Province.

Since 1990 he has run theatre workshops and dance classes throughout Poland: at the Ballet School in Gdańsk; Vocal and Drama Studio, Music Theatre in Gdynia; National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw; as well as abroad in such countries as: the Czech Republic, France, Finland, Germany, Sweden, UK, USA, and Zimbabwe.

Teatr Dada von Bzdülöw, Duety nieistniejące:Katarzyna Chmielewska (z lewej), Leszek Bzdyl (z prawej). Fot. Jakub Wittchen.
Teatr Dada von Bzdülöw, Duety nieistniejące. Fot. Jakub Wittchen.
Teatr Dada von Bzdülöw, Duety nieistniejące:Katarzyna Chmielewska (z lewej), Leszek Bzdyl (z prawej). Fot. Jakub Wittchen.
Teatr Dada von Bzdülöw, Duety nieistniejące: Leszek Bzdyl (z lewej), Katarzyna Chmielewska (z prawej). Fot. Jakub Wittchen.
Teatr Dada von Bzdülöw, Duety nieistniejące: Leszek Bzdyl (z lewej), Katarzyna Chmielewska (z prawej). Fot. Marta Ankiersztejn.
Teatr Dada von Bzdülöw, Czerwona trawa: Leszek Bzdyl (z lewej), Radosław Hewelt (z prawej). Fot. Jakub Wittchen.
Opus Pessimum. Fot. Łukasz Unterschuetz.
Faktor T. Fot. Gabriel Bieńczycki.
Faktor T. Fot. łukasz Unterschuetz.
Teatr Dada von Bzdülöw, Faktor T. Fot. Jakub Wittchen.
Zwłoki. Fot. Iwona i Jarosław Cieślikowscy.
Kilka błyskotliwych spostrzeżeń. Fot. Iwona i Jarosław Cieślikowscy.
Kilka błyskotliwych spostrzeżeń. Fot. Iwona i Jarosław Cieślikowscy.
Bonsai, fot. Przemek Wiśniewski.
Eden. Fot. Tomasz Zerek.
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