Five years after his The Captive Mind, Robert Bondara returns to Bydgoszcz?s Opera Nova to choreograph Karol Szymanowski?s Stabat Mater and Harnasie. The ceremonious premiere marking the 60th anniversary of the Bydgoszcz opera will take place on 22 October 2016 (7 pm). The following night (23 October), a repeat performance will be presented at 6 pm.
Bondara has invited stage designer Julia Skrzynecka to contribute to the shows. The two collaborated in Bondara?s previous ballets, such as Persona and Nevermore?? (National Opera in Warsaw), Čiurlionis (Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Vilnius), Firebird and The Magnificent Mandarin udowny mandaryn (Wrocław Opera).
Robert Bondara on choreographing Stabat Mater?
I hope that adding a more human dimension to the story by universalizing it will render the work more relatable to the audience. The structure of the performance adopts an atmosphere of a rite whose goal is to recollect and relive well-known events.
?and his work with Harnasie:
The folkloristic color has given way to an in-depth insight into the characters, their dilemmas, motives, as well as the interpersonal relationships and social relations which frequently influence the protagonists? decisions.
The much-anticipated piece has been heralded as one of the key October premieres in Poland. The dancers of the Bydgoszcz company are in top shape, and admit that collaborating with Rober Bondara has been a source of tremendous satisfaction despite strenuous rehearsals. The director of the Opera Nova Ballet, Ilona Jaświn-Madejska, admits that working with Bondara has been gratifying, and counts on another exquisite performance (apart from Bondara, the company has recent collaborations include Jorma Elo and Paul Chalmer).
Concurrent with the ballet rehearsal, the soloists, the choir and the orchestra of Opera Nova have been working under musical director of the premiere, Maciej Figas. The two works of Szymanowski, one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, will figure in the repertoire of the Bydgoszcz opera for the first time in its 60-year history. Next week, the ensembles will begin joint rehearsals on stage.
Directed and choreographed by: Robert Bondara
Musical director: Maciej Figas
Stage design and costumes: Julia Skrzynecka
Choir preparation: Henryk Wierzchoń
Lighting design: Maciej Igielski
Produced under the honorary patronage of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
Robert Bondara is adancer, choreographer and pedagogue, artist of the Polish National Ballet. A graduate of the Feliks Parnell State Ballet School in Łódź, the Warsaw School of Economics (postgraduate studies for managers of culture), and the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, where he currently works as lecturer. His first affiliation was with the Music Theatre in Łódź, from which he moved to the Wielki Theatre in Poznań. In 2005, he joined the Polish National Ballet, and in 2008 he began his collaboration with Aleksandra Dziurosz?s Warsaw Dance Theatre.
A laureate of the 2nd prize (1st prize was not awarded) and the Special Prize of the Witold Lutosławski Society in the Bronisława Niżyńska National Choreographic Competition in Warsaw (2008), the Jan Kiepura Prize in the Choreographer of the Year category (2011), he was also the finalist of the 27th and 29th International Choreographers? Competition in Hannover (2013, 2015), and a laureate of the Bronze Medal for Merits to Culture ?Gloria Artis? (2016).
Bondara participated in the Polish National Ballet Choreographic Workshops, where he choreographed When You End and I Begin… to Paweł Szymański?s music (the piece was later included in the company?s chamber repertoire), as well as Szabolcs Esztényi?s The Garden’s Gates, Amon Tobin?s 8m68 and Współczynnik przenikania [Permeation factor], Czkawka [Hiccup] to the music composed by Michał Jacaszek and Take Me With You to the music composed by Radiohead.
In 2011, he was a guest with Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz, where he directed an original ballet The Captive Mind, inspired by Czesław Miłosz?s book and featuring music by Philip Glass and Wojciech Kilar. That same year, he choreographed another original piece for the Polish National Ballet (Persona, music: Aldona Nawrocka, Arvo Pärt and Paweł Szymański). 2013 saw the world premiere of his Čiurlionis, choreographed for the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Vilnius. In 2014, he directed The Wonderful Mandarin and Firebird with the ballet of the Wrocław Opera, as well as Nevermore?? with the Polish National Ballet (the piece was presented alongside Jiří Kylián?s Field Mass and Kurt Joos?s Green table as part of a piece titled 1914). The premiere took place at the 6th Days of Dance at the Polish National Opera in Warsaw. In 2016, Bondara has choreographed for such ensembles as Washington?s Company E and the Kielce Dance Theatre.
His choreographies were presented at the Polish Ballet Competition in Gdańsk, International Gala of ballet Stars in Szczecin, Didura Festival in Sanok, 43rd International Dance Festival in Kuopio, as well as at Moscow?s Bolshoi Theatre, in Bergen and Stavanger, at the Dance Sald Festival in Houston, JFK Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, Dancing Poznań ? International Dance Theatre Festival in Poznań, ?Studio? Theatre in Warsaw, and during the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Days of Dance at the Polish National Opera in Warsaw.