Dirge, one of the four parts of the Holocaust tetralogy ? Pola Nireńska?s farewell choreography ? returns to the stage in Washington after more than 20 years. One of the most important names in the history of modern dance will be brought back by Company E and Robert Bondara, choreographer and dancer of the Polish National Ballet. Invited to the US by Paul Gordon Emerson, Bondara has prepared an original dance project ? Generations: Poland ? to showcase the important works of four generations of Polish composers and choreographers. The project will be opened by Dirge, an 11-minute choreography by Pola Nireńska, in which she confronted her own story: that of a Polish Jew fleeing the Nazis, as well as the stories of her family and her experience of loss.
In an interview with www.washingtonjewishweek.com, Company E?s director Paul Gordon Emerson said that it was not only the artistic merit of the ?solid, elegant, powerful choreography? that made them decide to stage it again, but also the fundamental role Nireńska played in the development of dance in Washington. Settling in Washington in 1951, the artist worked in local ballet troupes and modern dance studios, marking her place in the genre as a valued teacher, choreographer, and an inspiration for several generations of dancers. Now, helping in the restoration of the choreography is Nireńska?s student ? 71-year-old Rima Faber, who in 1990 played the Mother in Dirge.
During the Generations: Poland show, American audience will also see Lidia Woś? Who Let the Dogs Out with music by Marcin Brycki; Didi & Gogo, a new duet by Robert Bondara with a piano composition by Paweł Szymański; and Air ? a Company E performance based on the Second Movement of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki?s Third Symphony (?The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs?), specially arranged by Gavin Stewart.
Bondara?s Didi & Gogo is described by the organisers as a performance about ?mutual attraction and rejection, fear of solitude and an irresistible need to coexist, two strong characters clashing.? Besides Szymański?s music, Bondara drew his inspirations from the personal experiences of the dancers: Robert J. Priore and Gavin Stewart. According to the choreographer, he wanted to evoke the atmosphere of Samuel Beckett?s Waiting for Godot and its two protagonists Vladimir and Estragon, also known as Didi and Gogo.
The show will premiere on 16th March 2016 at the Family Theater in Kennedy Center (2700 F St NW).
Patronage of the premiere is provided by the Polish Embassy in Washington. It is also supported by Culture.pl
Sources: www.washingtonjewishweek.com, www.companye.org, Teatr Wielki ? Opera Narodowa, translated by OK, 11 Feb 2016.