People of dance

Romana Agnel

  • dancer
  • choreographer
  • pedagogue
Zdjęcie: Romana Agnel

Pictured: Romana Agnel. Photo by Ilja Van de Pavert

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Romana Agnel is a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher, art historian; founder, managing and artistic director of the Cracovia Danza Court Ballet (formerly “Ardente Sole”), the only professional court ensemble in Poland, run by the City of Cracow.

She graduated from the Ballet Charter School in Cracow (with Professor M. Mirocka), and in art history from Sorbonne University, Paris. While in France she studied various national dances and completed a character and historical dance program  (“Le Ballet Légendaire d’Ile de France”, “Le Bal Paré”, 7th conservatory in Paris, “Théatre Baroque de France”). She is also a performer of the classical Indian dance Bharata Natyam, which she studied under Smt. M. K. Saroj in Madras.\

Romana Agnel has collaborated with luminaries of ballet and dance on multiple occasions. She has created choreographies for numerous baroque, classical, and Old Polish operas staged in Poland and abroad (among others for the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre, STU Theatre, Ludowy Theatre, “Groteska” Theatre in Cracow; K. Dejmek Nowy Theatre in Łódź; Rampa Theatre in Warsaw), and collaborated with a number of opera and music theater companies (among others with Théâtre Atelier Lyrique in Tourcoing, Théâtre Champs Élysées in Paris – France; Conservatory Theater in Oberlin – USA; Concertgebouw in Amsterdam – Holland; Margrave Opera House in Bayreuth – Germany; “Pod Palmovkou” Theater in Prague – Czech Republic; Warsaw Chamber Opera, Cracow Opera – Poland.

She has collaborated with a number of outstanding artists in various fields, including harpsichordists Elżbieta Stefańska and Urszula Bartkiewicz, multi-instrumentalist Maria Pomianowska, conductors Kai Baumann, Władysław Kłosiewicz and Jean-Claude Malgoire, or directors Laco Adamik, Kazimierz Dejmek, Jan Polewka, Michał Zadara, and Krzysztof Zanussi.

As a dancer and choreographer, she collaborates with many theatres in Poland, including the Warsaw Chamber Opera, the Royal Castles in Cracow, Warsaw and Niepołomice, as well as numerous other institutions in Poland and abroad. She also holds historical dance classes at the Academies of Music in Cracow and Łódź, along with many courses in her fields of expertise.

Romana Agnel is the author of the majority of choreographies for the Cracovia Danza Court Ballet productions, as well as the originator and artistic director of the Cracovia Danza Court Dance Festival which takes place every year at the turn of July and August in Cracow.

For many years, Romana Agnel has promoted the classical Indian dance Bharata Natyam in Poland and abroad, at the same time serving as an ambassador of both Polish and European dance in India. In Paris she participated in Indian dance performances with the “Tilak” company. Together with M. Pomianowska’s ensemble and S. Bhattacharya, she produced a performance entitled Poland – India: Conversations. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, she went on three artistic tours, invited by dancers and culture institutions of India where she performed European and Polish court dances, and held dance workshops, among others at the Indo-European Dance Festival organized by Alaknanda Institute for the Performing Arts.

Romana Agnel is the recipient of the 2nd Prize at the Parisian “La Scéne Française” competition in the category of character dance technique. She was also awarded the Zofia Rayzacher Prize at the 9th Early Music Festival at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. In 2009 she was presented with the badge of “Merit to Polish Culture” by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and the Medal of the National Education Commission by the Chief Education Officer in the Małopolskie Province. In 2010 she received the “Honoris Gratia” award for merit to the City of Cracow and its residents from the Mayor of the City of Cracow.

In 2014, she was awarded the Silver Cross of Merit by the President of the Republic of Poland. In 2018, she was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, and in 2019 she received the Badge of Honor of the Małopolskie Province “Cross of Malopolska.”

Romana Agnel is also author of a few publications on historical dance, including.

1) The Importance and Meaning of Gesture in the Opera and Ballet of the 17th and 18th centuries [in:] Improvisation in the music of the Baroque, ed. M. Zieliński, the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, Bydgoszcz 2004;

2) The Basic Forms of Court Dance in the Baroque [in:] Around Baroque Dance, ed. P. Grajter, the G. and K. Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź, Łódź 2007;

3) Kilka uwag na temat tańca na dworze wawelskim w okresie Złotego Wieku (Some remarks on dancing at the Wawel court during the Golden Age of Poland) [in:] Taniec w Krakowie / Dance in Cracow exhibition catalogue, 8th Cracovia Danza Court Dance Festival, Kraków 2007.

4) The Origins and the Symbolism of the Polonaise [w:] Vom Schäferidyll zur Revolution. Europäische Tanzkultur im 18. Jahrhundert. 2. Rothenfelster Tanzsymposion, red. U. Schlottermüller, H. Weiner, M. Richter, Freiburg 2008.

Pictured: Romana Agnel. Photo by Ilja Van de Pavert

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