Short story of me
I was born in Wałbrzych, a fairly small Polish town on the border with the Czech Republic. It was 1980: just in time to grow up through the fall of Communism and experience the early waves of Poland’s westernisation.
At the age of 18 I moved to Kraków to pursue a degree in Indian Studies at Jagiellonian University. Studying this subject was very mind opening for me and the best part of my five-year long academic education was that I was sent off to India to study Hindi at New Delhi University.
Fascination with movement and the body struck me during my studies.
Completely immersed in Indian culture, I came across Yoga as one of the six philosophical systems of Hindu philosophy. It was only later that I had direct experience of Yoga as a ‘body-mind’ practice, and the impact was immediate. Here was a possibility of being with my body that was at once precise, curious and somehow scientific.
Soon after the discovery of Yoga came my first class in contemporary dance (with Iwona Olszowska and Janusz Skubaczkowski). Here again came a similar revelation, only this time ‘in motion’. This made me hungry for movement: I took every dance class I could find in Kraków and every dance workshop I could afford. Slowly, after years of tasting different techniques and approaches, I started focussing my interests and shaping my own style.
A complete list of the mentors, masters and guides from the worlds of dance, movement and theatre from all over the world who have inspired me and shaped my work would be too long and never exhaustive. Three of them, though, need to be mentioned for their impact on my creative soul.
Kathleen Ann Thompson, my dance, drama and mime teacher, taught me everything I know about the reasons and the importance of being on stage. Rhizome Lee, my beloved butoh teacher, introduced me to his innovative theories on ‘subbody’, ‘qualia’ and ‘resonance’ and finaly Merav Israel, my contact-improvisation and inprovisation teacher, opened to me the world of ‘curious listening and sensing’.
While shooting my first dance video, ‘Places’, I was completely blown away by the possibilities opened by the use of a video camera. The amazing work of my collaborator, videographer Kuba Giza, allowed me to get a taste of what video holds in creating visual poetry. Since that first encounter I have started using video projections in dance projects, as well as creating video art and dance films. I also take photos as a practice of composition, storytelling and observing the world.