The new art institution’s main objective is to produce and promote contemporary dance and other forms of movement art (mime, classical dance, street dance, etc.). Thanks to its headquarters – the revitalised pithead of the what used to be the Rozbark Mine – the institution will also be able to broaden the scope of its operations. Apart from artistic projects, Rozbark is also planning to be involved in educational and socially-oriented activities.
In the artistic realm, the ROZBARK Bytom Dance and Movement Theatre focuses on producing own performances and promoting the most interesting contemporary dance pieces or works from related disciplines produced by others in Poland and abroad.
The institution’s promotional efforts will culminate each year with the International Contemporary Dance Conference and Festival of Dance Art, which has grown to become one of the biggest contemporary dance festivals in Central Europe and a very important platform for contemporary dance promotion, as well as Bytom’s most internationally recognised project. The event is both a showcase of trend-setting contemporary dance pieces and works of related arts conceived by experienced choreographers and ensembles as well as emerging artists, and an educational opportunity, offering a range of dance workshops along with other educational and socially-oriented projects for different target groups.
Now the event is developing its form even further, providing more workshops and seminars, practical as well as theoretical and historical. A new impetus will also be given to projects taking place in urban spaces in order to help Bytom residents identify themselves with the city’s biggest festival, build their own identity and the event’s brand, as well as to provoke the forming of a community around the new dance theatre. The festival-conference will also focus to a greater extent on socially-oriented initiatives enabling those worse off to benefit from the artistic and educational events they can hardly afford on their own. Central to Rozbark’s attention are all vulnerable groups: the theatre will carry out a range of projects addressed to the elderly, the disabled, or those suffering from social exclusion.
Artistically, Rozbark will focus on producing and presenting new performances, mostly of contemporary dance, but also other forms of movement, including hip hop dance, classical dance, etc. Rozbark will invite the collaboration of different choreographers, this way ensuring that its repertory is artistically varied and able to satisfy different aesthetic tastes and preferences. The repertory is also going to include open-air projects, allowing the institution to break away from its headquarters and reach out to the city’s population. Appreciating the role of early theatrical education, Rozbark is also going to prepare at least one children’s show a season.
Artistic residencies for dancers and choreographers
A key aspect in all artistic production is exchange of experiences. That is why, apart from holding the annual conference-festival, inviting guest performances, and undertaking tours to other venues, there is a need to set up an interesting artistic residency programme for foreign dancers and choreographers, and to invest special efforts into developing close cooperation with foreign dance centres of a similar profile to Rozbark. The institution also plans to provide its dancers with foreign internship opportunities and participate in international coproduction projects.
Rozbark’s another objective is to offer young, not necessarily professional, contemporary dance groups a chance to grow artistically and showcase themselves. For this purpose, Rozbark will institute a special programme to support emerging Polish artists, currently entering the Polish scene in growing numbers, by providing them with a chance to present their work on a professional stage and to use the theatre’s technical resources. This way Rozbark is going to contribute to further development of the dance community in Poland and help Bytom to strengthen its position as an important dance centre in the country. Each year new graduates leave the walls of the Ludomir Różycki Ballet School in Bytom and the Dance Theatre Department of the Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts in Kraków and are left without a place to continue their artistic careers. It is Rozbark’s firm intention to bridge this gap.
The activities described above will be complemented with ad hoc projects related to dance and movement. Among those will undoubtedly be different exhibitions on dance, screenings of dance films and recorded performances, meetings with artists, and many more. Also possible in a loner time perspective is a revival of the European Festival of Contemporary Dance that used to be held in Bytom and Kraków in association with the Goethe-Institut in Kraków, the Austrian Cultural Institute, the Italian Cultural Institute, the British Council and other institutions.