The Silesian Dance Theatre was founded in 1991 in Bytom. Since its inception, the institution has been run by Jacek Łumiński – choreographer, dancer, teacher, currently also dean of the Bytom’s Faculty of Dance Theatre at the L. Solski State Drama School (PWST) in Cracow. Currently the group consists of ten dancers, there were nine of theme initially and this number was changing over the years.
In 2013 the Silesian Dance Theater was closed down. In place of it a new institution was established – the ROZBARK Bytom Dance and Movement Theatre. ROZBARK is looking to collaborate with the widest possible array of artists, both Polish and international (which makes it different from Jacek Łumiński’s, strictly authorial, theatre). The new institution will continue some of the SDT’s projects, such as the International Contemporary Dance Conference and Festival of Dance Art in Bytom.
The Silesian Dance Theatre is to a large extent Łumiński’s original project. However, for some time, aside from Łumiński’s choreographies, the theatre has produced other authors’ performances as well. First, there are the productions of the Silesian Dance Theatre Choreographic Laboratory. The Laboratory has produced four choreographies by Sylwia Hefczyńska-Lewandowska, one by Korina Kordova and one by the duo Sebastian Zajkowski and Leszek Stanek. Irrespective of the laboratory, performances were produced by outstanding visiting choreographers, such as Mihai Mihalcea from Romania (My song, best shoes, the cake, first flight, my friends, the passport, and the work I do…, 2009) and Idan Cohen from Israel (Because, 2011). In the past other artists, including Avi Kaiser, Mark Haim, Melissa Monteros and Hilke Diemer have also produced their performances in the theatre. Reconstructions of choreographies by Pola Nireńska, Polish dance artist from the interwar period, were also presented on Bytom’s stage (Pieśń żałobna. Nirge, 1997).
Social projects are also an important aspect of the Silesian Dance Theatre’s activities. The theatre collaborates with people combining artistic background in the field of contemporary dance with social work education (Beata Grzelak-Szweda) and physiotherapy (Katarzyna Rybok). As part of its educational activities, the Silesian Dance Theatre runs regular dance workshops every month.
The Silesian Dance Theatre organizes the International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival in Bytom. In 2011, the 18th festival will take place. Similarly, as on previous occasions, part of the festival’s presentations will take place in Cracow. The festival performances are presented on the stages of the Bytom Culture Centre and Silesian Dance Theatre, as well as in industrial spaces in the Szombierki power plant. Over many years outstanding artists, including Ultima Vez, Compagnie Drift, Bill Young&Dancers, Willi Dorner and Robyn Orlin, have presented their works at the Conference.