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Photo: Krzysztof Mystkowski, KFP.

Izadora Weiss

Izadora Weiss is a choreographer and the artistic director of the White Dance Theatre. She graduated from the Warsaw Ballet School and the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. An author of thirty opera choreographies, her work has been presented at the major stages in Poland and a number of venues in the USA, France, Ireland, Germany, Luxembourg, Holland, and Finland. Her career was launched by a choreography to Krzysztof Penderecki's First Violin Concerto at the Grand Theatre in Poznań with her own libretto. Soon afterwards, Jiří Kylián invited her to the Nederlands Dans Theater for a choreographic internship. Repeated visits to the most important choreographer of our time gave her a chance to perfect her skills under the wings of, among others Hans van Manen, Ohad Naharin and Paul Lightfoot.

 

In 2000, she created a choreography to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons as a part of the 2000 Malta festival. She was the founder and artistic director of the Baltic Dance Theatre. During her eight-year stay with the company, she developed fifteen original pieces, among others Romeo and Juliet based on Shakespeare’s play set to the music of selected composers. She directed the world premiere of Haendel’s triptych Tre Donne Tre Destini featuring Olga Pasiecznik, developed together with the Warsaw Chamber Orchestra.

 

The “Rzeczpospolita” daily dubbed this performance one of the two most significant events in Polish music theatre in 2009. In 2011, Izadora Weiss and her dancers presented her choreography to Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring at the National Theatre in Warsaw. Having watched the premiere performance of the piece, Jiří Kylián agreed to transfer his choreographies to the Baltic Dance Theatre and combine them into a single night as part of Izadora Weiss’s then latest piece Windows, set to the music of Mozart, Marais, and Bach, as well as a number of tracks composed especially for the piece by Leszek Możdżer.

 

The subsequent premieres of Izadora Weiss’s international company included Cool Fire, Death and the Girl, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream based on Shakespeare and featuring the music of Goran Bregovic. The last piece was named the performance of the year in Gdańsk, with Izadora Weiss being awarded by the medal of the Minister of Culture “Gloria Artis” and the Kiepura Award for the best choreographer of the year. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was invited to a number of international festivals, garnering raving reviews from the British media, where it was dubbed the world’s best dance theatre premiere of 2013.

 

The next impressive project from Weiss and BDT was Netherlands. It consisted of two back to back nights, which were the fruit of the whole year of the company’s hard work. The first evening presented two pieces by Weiss, Fun and Light, inspired by Dutch paintings. The second night featured Sarabande and Falling Angels, two more choreographies presented to the BDT by Jiří Kylián and supervised by the master himself, performed alongside Weiss’s Body Master. Netherlands was awarded the best Gdańsk performance of the year, and Izadora Weiss was honoured once more with the Kiepura Award as the best Polish choreographer of 2014.

 

2015 saw the premieres of The Tempest based on Shakespeare, and Fedra based on Racine, both set to the music of Gustav Mahler. The latter piece was presented at London’s The Place, where it was hailed as London’s best theatre piece of the month. The last piece of the Baltic Dance Theatre in Gdańsk was Izadora Weiss’s Tristan & Isolde set to selected compositions of Krzysztof Penderecki. Presented at the Diaghilev International Festival of Arts in Saint Petersburg, the piece was showcased along several other choreographies by Izadora Weiss. The project was developed under the company’s new name, the White Dance Theatre, and supported by the Ludwig van Beethoven Association and the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music.

 

In 2017, Izadora Weiss was invited by director Krzysztof Pastor to choregeoraph the premiere of Darkness, developed by the Polish National Ballet. This two-part piece took on the notion of violence against women, and was named the best choreography of the 2016/17 season by the “Teatr” monthly.

 

In the recent past, Izadora Weiss committed herself to developing a permanent line-up of the White Dance Theatre in Warsaw. Andrzej Seweryn’s Polski Theatre invited Izadora Weiss and her company to develop choreography for the premiere of Eros Thanatos, inspired by Jacek Malczewski’s paintings and Karol Szymanowski’s music. The project marked the beginning of the BTT’s activity in Warsaw, where the company, financed by the Department of Culture of the City of Warsaw, was named the 2018 company-in-residence of the “Komedia” Theatre, which hosts weekly presentations of the BTT pieces, such as Eros Thanatos, Fedra, Cool Fire, Light, Death and the Girl, followed by the upcoming premiere of Euridice in Hell, set to the music of Karol Szymanowski, Eugene Ysaye, and Dmitri Shostakovich. The project has been developed as a coproduction with the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, and financed the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage “Fundusz Promocji Twórczości” fund. Weiss’s latest choreographies also featured her original stage design and costumes, as did the opera choreographies featuring the BTT.

Izadora Weiss was awarded the Pomorskie Province Artistic Award for 2009. She is also a two-time recipient of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage Scholarship.

 

 

 

 

 

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