People of dance

Sylwia Hanff

  • choreographer
  • dancer
Zdjęcie: Sylwia Hanff

Sylwia Hanff. Photo by Yassiek (Janusz Matuszewski)

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Sylwia Hanff is a graduate of MA studies in philosophy (University of Warsaw), dance improvisation and body symbolism instructor (Institut für Tanz und Bewegungsdynamik in Germany), cultural manager (Cultural Managers’ Posgraduate Program, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań), and yoga teacher (KRI/USA certificate, 11 years of experience). For the past 14 years, she has facilitated and pioneered Veriditas Labyrinth as a method of personal development (Labyrinth Facilitator training, Veriditas/USA). She is also active as a performing arts theorist (anthropology of theater and philosophy of performing arts). A pioneer of the art of butoh in Poland, she is a performer, director, choreographer, curator of art and art education projects, as well as socio-cultural initiatives.

Active on stage for 26 years, Hanff has so far appeared in more than 40 performances produced by institutional and independent theater companies. She was an actress with the Warsaw Pantomime Theatre operating at the Jewish Theatre in Warsaw, and for 10 years worked with the National Theatre and the Grand Theatre – Polish National Opera in Warsaw.

For the past 20 years, Hanff has been the director of the Limen Butoh Theatre, where she has created more than 25 original solo and ensemble pieces, as well as many etudes and improvisations. She has performed in Poland and around the world (USA, Japan, France, Italy, Netherlands, Latvia, Austria). She has been conducting international collaborations, organizing artistic events, and inviting foreign artists to participate in her projects for over 21 years. In 2019, she launched the Butohpolis. International Butoh Art Festival, of which she is the Artistic Director.

Over the course of the past 20 years, Hanff has held workshops on body and movement work, including long-term educational projects such as I Don’t Know Who Grotowski Was: A Laboratory of Active Culture, for which she received the Mazovian Cultural Inspiration Award “Impulse of Culture 2021” in the category “projects employing modern technologies and innovative forms of communication.”

Her resume was included in the book Something Called Butoh published by the NPO Dance Archive Network in Japan (2020).

For many years, Hanff has been cooperating with independent centers and cultural institutions in Warsaw (Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, Mazovian Institute of Culture, “Łowicka” Centre, Praga-Południe Centre for Promotion of Culture, Służew Cultural Center) and artists from all over the world.

She is a recipient of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage scholarship (2015), and member of the Board of Directors of the Association “Academy of Social Skills”.


8 Pustyń (Dromenon). Fot. Irena Lipińska.
8 Pustyń (Dromenon). Fot.. Arkadiusz Rączka.
Fot. Marta Przybyło.





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