The Lublin Dance Theatre was founded in 2001 by Hanna Strzemiecka, for many years the groups choreographer and artistic director. The group consists of dancers of the former Lublin University of Technology Contemporary Dance Group: Anna Żak, Ryszard Kalinowski and Wojciech Kaproń. The Contemporary Dance Group and Lublin Dance Theatre both derive from the independent student movement. By consequently performing their artistic mission, Leaders of the group has transformed it into a new, professional dance theatre, based in the Centre for Culture in Lublin. Over the years the Lublin Dance Theatre has created their unique style, recognized in Poland and abroad, as one of the leading Polish dance theatres. In 2005 Beata Mysiak (previous name: Pałka; who also takes part in the Contemporary Dance Group performances) joined the Theatre. Since 2007, Anna Kalita has been the Theatres manager. Since 2006 Ryszard Kalinowski has been groups artistic director and main choreographer, while Anna Żak is art supervisor of the Contemporary Dance Group.
Art activities of the Lublin Dance Theatre focus on building dance theatre as a space for dialogue with the audience. The main topics raised by the group include various aspects influencing the condition of mankind today. The artistic character of the performances is created in the process of individual experiments by each of the theatres founders. This gives the choreographies individual character. While working on the performance, the artists use the aesthetics of dance theatre, visual arts and physical dance theatre, reinterpreting them into consistent and linear artistic expressions. The first of the theatre’s performances referred to literature and visual arts, being inspired by the works of Marc Chagall (Acrobats, flowers and the moon in between, 2002), Witold Gombrowicz (plepleJAdy, 2004), Bruno Schultz (Ku dobrej ciszy, 2002). Dramatic effect is gained by coherent narrative line. In recent years, the group focused on psychological analysis of human relations (I znów, i jeszcze raz, 2006; 48/4, 2007), supplemented with socio-cultural contexts, such as those concerning cultural determinants of gender and their dichotomy (gender issues). Apart from the above performances, Endo (2009) should be mentioned here. The Lublin Dance Theatre also raises auto-thematic issues of dance, for instance in Ryszard Kalinowski and Wojciech Kaproń’s duo NN.For Wacław Niżyński (2008) and an abstractive dance and visual solo Cosmos (2008), being Kaprońs choreographic debut. Apart from individual performances, the theatre produces joint projects, among others: Just po prostu withW&M Physical Theatre from Canada, OKNO with Compagnie Stanislaw Wisniewski with participation by the Theatres artists (Kalinowski and Kaproń); also, Beata Mysiaks choreography Mono (2011), featuring dancers from the Contemporary Dance Group, as well as Knut Hamsuns Hunger (2010), produced by Łukasz Witt-Michałowski and Ryszard Kalinowski as part of Scena In Vitro Programme.
The group has performed at numerous festivals in Poland, including Bytom, Cracow, Kalisz, Warsaw, Poznań, Łódź, Gdańsk, Toruń as well as abroad, in the USA, Switzerland, France, Hungary, Finland, Spain, Lithuania, Russia, Germany, Austria, Tunisia, Netherlands, Belarus and Ukraine. The founders of the group run regular contemporary dance workshops.
The Lublin Dance Theatre runs numerous art and educational initiatives, aimed at promotion of contemporary dance as a means of expression, with a huge intellectual and emotional potential. The most important event organized by the group is the International Dance Theatres Festival (annually since 1997), which is a multi-day review of dance performances from Poland and all over the world. In recent years the festivals mottos has referred to different fields of art: visual arts, literature and music. An intensive set of contemporary dance workshops and a national photographic competition Dance energy of body and imagination both are integral parts of the festival. Another theatre project is the Contemporary Dance Forum a series of performances, films, dance workshops and lectures addressed to a wide audience, mainly from Lublin and the region. Every two to three months, the Lublin Dance Theatre and Centre for Culture in Lublin invite dance theatres from Poland and abroad, which for several days run art and educational activities. In such close meeting with dance, participants of the workshops and the audience have the opportunity to take a closer look at the theatres’ work and take part in discussions with artists and teachers.
The Lublin Dance Theatre collaborates closely with culture institutions in Poland and abroad, aiming to build networks of contacts promoting dance art in various circles, for instance through presentation of performances, organization of dance workshops, lectures, exhibitions, video presentations, as well as performing in non-theatre spaces (for instance, the site specific project The Four Seasons. Lublin Transformations).