The Krakow Dance Theatre (KTT) was founded in 2008 by Eryk Makohon, who is also the theatre’s artistic director. Currently the theatre comprises the artistic duo of Makohon and Paweł Łyskawa and a group of independent dancers. The KTT operates under the auspices of the KTO Theatre and has its own theatre studio where it realises its artistic and educational projects.
Until March 2015, the KTT operated within the Nowa Huta Culture Centre (since 2014, within the Cracow Choreographic Centre founded by Makohon). At present it is an association.
For many years the KTT worked on the basis of a long-term process, giving up project work, and focusing on group exploration of a range of diverse fields, seeking inspiration also in the Polish theatre tradition. Currently, due to structural changes and a lack of regular financing, it extends an invitation to regular cooperation to independent dancers who also realise their own art projects.
Over the years, the KTT had developed three areas of activity: artistic, educational and artistic agency. The latter, due to the lack of own stage, has been limited to organisational (access to dance studio) and promotional support for young dancers and choreographers.
The KTT has produced over 20 performances for stage, street and non-theatre spaces. Its aesthetics is difficult to define. Due to its founder’s background in architecture, critics emphasize the frequent use of images, the visual quality of performances created by light and by the architecture of body and movement. In his artistic work, Makohon often seeks inspiration in the concepts of pre-expression and body-mind.
The KTT regularly participates in major artistic events and festivals in Poland, for example, the Dance Festival in Kielce, Dancing Poznań, Street Theatre Festival in Cracow, Kaleidoscope Festival in Białystok, the Night of Theatres, and Studio Stage. Its dancers, also in collaboration with KTO Theatre, take regular part in street events and actions (for example, during the Poetry Night), and in experimental stage productions (for example, Operation Opera in collaboration with the Royal Opera in Oslo). They also teach at cultural institutions and dance schools in Cracow and other places in Poland, and run workshops in many venues across the country. They have won awards for solo and group performances created as part of their own artistic projects.
The KTT and its artists are renown for promoting the art of dance and for organising events focusing on dance and related fields. Łyskawa and the KTT launched and implemented the project Not a Word! Reception of non-verbal products of culture – dance theatre, realised with the support of the National Centre for Culture. It involved over 500 school students, who took part in a series of lectures and presentations of dance theatre performances. The Theatre also implemented a similar project for university students, in cooperation with the Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilizations of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow.
In the 2014/2015 season, Makohon, Łyskawa and Anna Królica realised an original project of dance presentation, Goodbye Superman. Man in Polish Choreography, a series of presentations of Polish artists, which received support of the Institute of Music and Dance within A Stage for Dance project.
Makohon and Łyskawa have conceived many events that are now, in a more or less modified form, part of the Cracow Choreographic Centre activities. The SPACER Contemporary Dance Festival, the 3... 2... 1... DANCE! Choreographic Competition, the Premiere project, the BalletOFFFestival, and the METAphysical Laboratory were all launched by the Krakow Dance Theatre.
KTT’s regular educational activities include contemporary dance classes on four skill levels. In the 2015/2015 season, over 100 amateur dancers are studying at the Theatre. The New Format experimental theatre includes dancers and performers who have attended KTT classes. This theatre goes beyond traditional dance theatre, exploring related fields of art. The artists focus on movement as well as on work with text/word and movement improvisation which, along with the text, provides a starting point for building the characters and movement structures that transfer the text to the plane of non-verbal communication. Theatre teachers include Łyskawa and Makohon.
The latest works created by the Krakow Dance Theatre include Estra and Andro directed by Makohon, a street performance that premiered at the International Street Theatre Festival in Cracow, and Nesting choreographed by Idan Cohen. The latter piece was produced under the Institute of Music and Dance’s Choreographic Commissions 2015 programme. The performance premiered at the ICE Cracow Congress Centre and at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.
In the 2015/2016 season, in partnership with the Kameny Art Agency, the KTT carried out the Wspólny Front (Common Front), an educational project for the youth, financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Now the theatre is a partner in the Wehikuł czasu (Time Machine) project, also organized by the Agency and the Ministry. The project will result in the release of a 2-disc DVD with Feliks Nowowiejski music performed by the Sinfonia Varsovia conducted by Sebastian Perłowski (King of the Winds and Folk Sketches ballets) and a movement performance by the KTT and the students of the Dance Theatre Faculty.
Over April–September 2016, the KTT will act as one of the four partners implementing the V4 Young Dance Talents project organised by the Central Europe Dance Theatre within the Visegrad Fund's Standard Grant programme. A conference on dance education will result in the development of a curriculum for young dancers from Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia, to be implemented by teachers from these countries.
managers and dancers
Krakow Dance Theatre director – Eryk Makohon
Krakow Dance Theatre manager / projects – Paweł Łyskawa
dancers in the 2015/2016 season – Monika Godek, Katarzyna Pawłowska, Katarzyna Sikora, Katarzyna Węglowska-Król, Katarzyna Żminkowska-Szymańska, Paweł Łyskawa, Dominik Więcek
Premieres in 2015 and 2016
Estra and Andro, chor. Eryk Makohon – 8 July 2015 at the International Street Theatre Festival in Cracow
Nesting, chor. Idan Cohen – 21 September 2015, ICE Cracow Congress Centre; 27 September 2015, Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw
Glamour, chor. Eryk Makohon – premiere 28 April 2016 at the Małopolska Garden of Arts in Cracow