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On 3 October (7 pm) the Polish National Ballet will open their new season at Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera (Chamber Hall) with the premiere of Hamlet in Jacek Tyski’s choreography, set to Ludwig van Beethoven music.

As the choreographer admitted at a press conference, this piece is markedly different to his previous productions as it combines dance, text (a recording of Hamlet’s monologue “To be or not to be” will be played to the audience) and acting etudes. The ballet’s dramaturge, film director and screen writer Kordian Piwowarski, added that apart from verbal elements, dance and movement in the ballet will be enhanced with dramaturgy of images, making the narration multilayered. The choreographer also provided some interpretation hints: the ballet shows Hamlet and Ophelia clash, with the woman being able to act where the man falters. Tyski’s Hamlet is also a confrontation of men’s and women’s distinctive existential approaches in our culture, with male characters coming to the fore anyway.

The ballet is not anchored in any specific historical moment. Its creators focused on making death un-theatrical, exploring its duality, consisting in the dread and the tempting promise it evokes. The audience becomes part of the performance because as the choreographer concluded: “all of us who watch a tragedy happen, make it happen”.

Next presentations: on 5 and 15-17 October.

Hamletis another of PBN’s Shakespearian ballets in a series started in March 2013 with A Midsummer Night’s Dream by John Neumeier. The series will culminate in 2016, marking Shakespeare’s 400th death anniversary with a festival and The Tempest produced in association with the Dutch National Ballet.


Ballet in two acts after William Shakespeare
Co-written by: Kordian Piwowarski
World premiere: 3 Oct 2013

Choreography:Jacek Tyski
Music: Ludwig van Beethoven
Set Design and video Concept: Robert Majkut
Costume Designer: Tijana Jovanović
Lighting Designer: Olga Skumiał
Visual art: Kordian Piwowarski
Hair stylist: Marek Bryczyński

Speaking voices (recording)
Jan Kowalewicz (monologues), Bogusław Suszka (Ghost of Hamlet’s Father)

Polish National Ballet

Music from recording

Poster designed by Adam Żebrowski, picture: Łukasz Murgrabia

see the poster

Jacek Tyski is a choreographer and soloist of the Polish National Ballet (PBN); founder of the Contemporary Dance Centre foundation. He graduated from the Roman Turczynowicz State Ballet School, Warsaw (1994). He won the first Junior Prize at the 8th Polish Dance Competition in Gdańsk and the second prize at the International Competition for Young Dancers “Prix de Lausanne”. In 1995-2000 he was engaged as dancer at the Hamburg Ballet, afterwards he joined Compaña Nacional de Danza in Madrid (2000-2004). As dancer he has collaborated with a range of choreographers, including John Neumeier, Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Mats Ek, Jiacopo Godoni, Boris Ejfman, Krzysztof Pastor, Emil Wesołowski and Jacek Przybyłowicz.

As choreographer Tyski has debuted in 2006 with For a Whilefeaturing dancers of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Ballet shown at the festival Lądeckie Lato Baletowe, 9th European Dance Festival in Cyprus and at the contest for young choreographers in Hannover. A new version of the ballet was shown in 2010 at Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera during the Second Choreographic Workshop.

His choreographic works include: Donna (Ballet de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, 2007; PBN, First Choreographic Workshop, 2009),Święto wiosny / The Rite of Spring(“Fulltura” Association Artistic Forms, Centralny Basen Artystyczny, Warsaw, 2008),Sny / Dreams(Kielece Dance Theatre, 2009), Tańczący z Chopinem/ Dances with Chopin (Roman Turczynowicz State Ballet School, Warsaw 2010), Third Symphonyof Witold Lutosławski (Educational Program “Rhythm”, National Centre for Culture, Warsaw, 2010),W poszukiwaniu kolorów/ In Search of Colours (PBN, 2010),Popołudnie fauna / Afternoon of a Faun(PBN, 3rd Choreographic Workshop, 2011),Body Language(Educational Program of Teatr Wielki, Warsaw, 2011),Spacer/ A Walk (PBN, 4th Choreographic Workshop, 2012),Alicja w Krainie Czarów/Alice in Wonderland (Educational Program of Teatr Wielki, Warsaw, 2012),Carmen-Suita/ Carmen-Suite (Ballet of Szczecin Opera, Szczecin, 2013).

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