The Sopot Dance Theatre (until March 2010 Okazjonalny (Occasion) Dance Theatre) was founded in 1998 by two certified dancers, choreographers and members of the Polish Stage Artists Association (ZASP): Joanna Czajkowska and Jacek Krawczyk, former Wojciech Misiura Expression Theatre’s actor. The group has produced around 30 performances, including Quad. Version 6., Alchemist of Hallucination, D-kod-R, Magnification/Zoom Out and 3xNoir Danse which have been performed at numerous contemporary dance and alternative theatre festivals in Poland (Gdańsk, Cracow, Warsaw, Poznań, Łódź, Szczecin, Olsztyn, Lublin and Wrocław) and abroad: in the Czech Republic, Portugal, Germany, Lithuania, Belarus, Romania, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Indonesia, Moldova, Bulgaria, Romania, France, Austria, Italy, Argentina and Spain. In its works, the group combines various theatrical materials, elements of acting and dance techniques, adapting them to their current conception. Their motto is that in the creating process the most important is the Idea. Based on the Idea, movement is explored and analysed, and a precise theatre world is being created. The group’s most recent performances include TRANSCRIPTIONS. Hommage pour Chopin (2010), Nature (outdoor version 2011, and theatre version 2012) referring to Bolesław Leśmian’s poetry, DALI inspired by Salvador Dali’s works (2011) and Fast act – the art of disappearing inspired by Paulo Virilio’s philosophy of Speer (however, one can find there numerous references to the history of dance; 2011).
On 1 May 2012 the founders of the Sopot Dance Theatre, Joanna Czajkowska and Jacek Krawczyk had their BENEFIT CONCERT. 2012 is a special year for the Sopot Dance Theatre – Joanna Czajkowska (younger of the duo) celebrates 15 years of choreographic work, while Jacek Krawczyk – 25 years of artistic work. On that occasion, at the end of a jubilee evening, a premiere of Wariat i Zakonnica created and directed by Jacek Krawczyk and inspired by Witkacy’s drama, took place. The main roles were played by Jacek Krawczyk (as Walpurg) and Izabela Sokołowska (Zakonnica), who are also the choreographers. Moreover, at the jubilee celebrations, dancers and artists working with the group appeared on stage.
Joanna Czajkowska and Jacek Krawczyk are members of the International Federation of Actors (FIA) and the European Network of Independent Artists (EON). In January 2006 the artists were nominated for the “Artist of the Year 2005” award in the Gazeta Wyborcza – Trójmiasto’s popularity contest. In the same year Jacek Krawczyk was awarded the Marshall of the Pomeranian Province Theatre Award for choreography and direction of Quad. Version 6 and his solo Helikopter Tanz Streichquartett. Both founders of the theatre received prestigious badges of “Merit to Polish Culture” from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
Founders of the Sopot Dance Theatre were initiators and co-organizers of “Dance Theatre Evenings” (produced with Sopot – Miasto Artystów Association) and OPOZYCJA Dance Theatre Festival, organized by Sopot Scena Off de Bicz. They promote dance art both through lectures on the history and theory of choreography (Gdańsk University and Żak Club) and contemporary dance, composition and dance improvisation workshops.
Artists collaborating with the Sopot Dance Theatre, among them dancers and choreographers, include: Monika Grzelak and Przemysław Wereszczyński, Iwona Gilarska, Maria Miotk and Mateusz Skutnik (webmaster and photographic editor for Viva la Vida, comic artist), Karolina Rec, Rafał Dętkoś, Grzegorz Welizarowicz, Adam Kiełsznia (music), Dominik Rudasz / Black Ibrahim (set design, posters, visualisations), Bartosz Cybowski, Adam Akerman and Artur Aponowicz (lighting design), Piotr Czajkowski (technical service) and Radosław Orłowski, Magdalena Brzezińska, Piotr Wołoszyk, Iwona and Jarosław Cieślikowski, Grzegorz Stefański, Zbyszek Szreder, Adam Bogdan (photography).
From 2004 to 2011, the theatre had its base at OFF de BICZ Scene in Sopot. Since 2012, the theatre has been an independent organizational unit, operating under the patronage of the Baltic Art Agency (BART). Since 2009 the activities of Sopot Dance Theatre have been supported by DANCE [SIC!] ASSOCIATION, established by the founders of the theatre.