March 2020 

Jacek Łumiński

choreographer | dancer | teacher

Jacek Łumiński – a dancer, choreographer,   teacher. The founder and director of the Silesian Dance Theatre in Bytom,   dean of the Faculty of Dance Theatre in Bytom at the State Drama School   (PWST) in Cracow.


He was a   student of the ballet school in Warsaw. He took his first steps in drama in   Acting Studio of Żydowski (Jewish) Theatre in Warsaw. In 1985–1988 he danced   in the Polish Dance Theatre – Poznań Ballet – when Conrad Drzewiecki was   still the director of the theatre. He graduated in dance pedagogy from the   University of Music in Warsaw.


In 1988 in Olsztyn, he co-founded   Teatr Tańca Nowego (TTN, New Dance Theatre), together with Piotr Galiński   (currently a jazz choreographer and jury member in all Polish editions of the   TV show “Dancing with the stars”). Later TTN moved to Chorzów for one season   before it was disbanded. Jacek Łumiński stayed in Śląsk.


In 1991 he founded the Silesian   Dance Theatre. At that time he collaborated with Avi Kaiser and Melissa   Monteros. The first premiere of the theatre was Łumiński’s Ma quere a moi. In the same evening (5   June 1992) Bytom had the opportunity to see two other Łumiński's performances   – Między wodami and Tęsknoty   II. Soon the Silesian Dance Theatre became one of the most   important dance institutions in Poland. Łumiński travelled a lot abroad and   the Annual International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance   Festival organized by the theatre shaped numerous artists and critics who are   active today.


The 90’s are the period when   Łumiński became one of the most important and influential figures of Polish   contemporary dance. Over the years he was a jury member at the International   Presentations of Contemporary Dance Forms in Kalisz. He also published critic   and theoretical articles.


Soon it became clear that Łumiński   took a very individual approach to the Silesian Dance Theatre. He is the   author of most of the theatre's choreographies. He created his own,   individual style, called by him Polish technique of contemporary dance –   physical in character and balancing between lyricism and abstraction. He is   inspired not only by American post-modern   dance, but also by Polish tradition of folk dance and Jewish folklore. He   also tried to reconstruct choreographies of expressionists from the interwar   period.


Over the   years, one of his long-term goals was to establish a dance university in   Bytom. Institutional and personnel conditions made it impossible for him to   utilize the idea in its initial form (i.e. to establish an independent School   of Performing Arts with English as a language of instruction, co-financed by the   UE programme Leonardo da Vinci). However, in October 2005 the recruitment to   a pilot programme took place, to develop a curriculum for such school. The   one-year classes, were held by Polish and West European dance specialists –   both practitioners (e.g. dancers of the Silesian Theatre or Hilke Diemer) and   critics and theorists – Katja Schneider, Roman Arndt. Finally Łumiński came   into agreement with the municipality of Bytom (Mayor Krzysztof Wójcik) and   the State Drama School in Cracow – vice-chancellor Jerzy Stuhr. In 2007 the   State Drama School in Cracow created a specialization programme “actor of   dance theatre” (Faculty of Drama) and one year later a separate Faculty of   Dance Theatre is founded in Bytom. Łumiński became its dean.


In 2008 Łumiński, based on his   thesis Dance theatre. Inspirations,   variations, place, concept, earned his PhD in the Faculty of Drama of the   State Drama School in Cracow. Before that (in 2001–2002) he was a visiting   professor at Lang Centre of Swarthmore College (USA). Since 2009 he has been   an academic editor in the field of dance for the University of Warsaw's   Publishing House (WUW).


Currently he works on formation of Chorographical   Centre in Bytom and plans to extend the Theatre’s activities to start   collaboration with Far East countries.



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