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The Polish National Ballet will present Krzysztof Pastor?s Burza (The Tempest), based on one of William Shakespeare?s most mysterious and ambiguous plays. The world premiere of this ballet took place in 2014 in Amsterdam, where it was performed by Het Nationale Ballet. The performance was intended to be transferred to the Teatr Wielki ? Polish National Opera in Warsaw. The Polish premiere of The Tempest on 9 April 2016 will open the Polish National Ballet?s Shakespeare Festival held on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare?s death. The ballet will be performed again on 10 and 22?24 April.


Artists from several countries have collaborated on this piece. Pastor worked on the concept with Dutch playwright Willem Bruls. The music is based on the works of 16th and 17th-century masters Henry Purcell, Thomas Tallis, Robert Johnson and Matthew Locke, and on compositions of contemporary Dutch artist Michel van der Aa. The works were arranged in consultation with musicologist Jan Pieter Koch. The performance also features traditional Iranian music, improvised on frame drum (daf) by virtuoso percussionist Abbas Bakhtiari, who also symbolizes the old Prospero. The visual art includes works by outstanding Iranian artists Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari who are considered some of the most prominent contemporary visual artists. Other authors include British conductor Matthew Rowe, French set designer and lighting director Jean Kalman and British costume designer Tatyana van Walsum.


The choreographer is working on the Polish version with his Amsterdam-based assistants, French choreologist Sandrine Leroy and British ballet mistress Judy Maelor-Thomas. The performance will feature leading soloists of the Polish National Ballet, including Yuka Ebihara and Dagmara Dryl (Miranda), Vladimir Yaroshenko (Prospero), Maksim Woitiul (Ferdinand), Patryk Walczak (Ariel) and Paweł Koncewoj (Caliban).


More information and plot summary


About the Polish National Ballet?s Shakespeare Festival


The year 2014 marked the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare?s birth, while the 400th anniversary of his death falls in 2016. The Shakespeare Festival at the Teatr Wielki ? Polish National Opera is a major Polish ballet event commemorating the great English playwright and poet.


Over recent years, the Polish National Ballet has made ballets based on Shakespeare a distinctive feature of its repertoire. These include Romeo i Julia (Romeo and Juliet) in an original interpretation of Krzysztof Pastor, Sen nocy letniej (A Midsummer Night?s Dream) in the famous version of John Neumeier, Poskromienie złośnicy (The Taming of the Shrew) in the legendary version of John Cranko, and Hamlet choreographed by Jacek Tyski. The current work on The Tempest is overseen by ensemble director Krzysztof Pastor. The audience will have a chance to see all of these works on 9?28 April 2016 at the Teatr Wielki ? Polish National Opera.


Shakespeare festival programme


Burza (The Tempest) ? premiere, 9?10, 22?24 April 2016


Choreography: Krzysztof Pastor

Music: Henry Purcell, Thomas Tallis, Robert Johnson, Matthew Locke, Michel van der Aa and traditional Iranian compositions

Video art: Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari


Romeo i Julia (Romeo and Juliet) ? 13?15 April 2016


Choreography: Krzysztof Pastor

Music: Sergei Prokofiev


Sen nocy letniej (A Midsummer Night?s Dream) ? 17, 19?20 April 2016


Choreography: John Neumeier

Music: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, György Ligeti and traditional barrel organ compositions


Hamlet ? 21 April 2016 (Młynarski Hall)


Choreography: Jacek Tyski

Music: Ludwig van Beethoven (playback)


Poskromienie złośnicy (The Taming of the Shrew) ? 27?28 April 2016


Choreography: John Cranko

Music: Kurt-Heinz Stolze based on works of Domenico Scarlatti



Shakespeare Lives is a global programme of events and activities focusing on the life and works of William Shakespeare, running in more than 100 countries. It was developed by the British Council in collaboration with GREAT Britain campaign and Voluntary Services Overseas to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare?s death in 2016. More information on the events in Poland:



The British Council is the United Kingdom?s international organisation for cultural and educational relations, aimed at building international relations and trust between people of the UK and other countries. It has a staff of 8,000 in more than 100 countries, including 2,000 teachers, and works with thousands of professionals and policy makers, as well as with millions of young people, teaching English and running educational, community, and art and culture projects.


The British Council Polish office teaches English in renowned language teaching centres and partner schools in Warsaw, Cracow and Wrocław. It works with a national network of partner libraries and examination centres, offering a range of English language and professional qualification examinations on behalf of major UK examination boards. The cultural education and community projects realised by the British Council help share UK achievements with other countries. Effective management of diversity and a policy of equal opportunities are a priority in the organisation?s activities.


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