Romana Agnel – dancer, choreographer, dance teacher, art historian; founder, managing and artistic director of Cracovia Danza Court Ballet (formerly “Ardente Sole”), the only professional court ensemble in Poland.
She graduated from the Ballet Charter School in Cracow (with Professor M. Mirocka). She graduated in art history at Sorbonne University, Paris. In France she learnt various national dances and completed character and historical dance specialisation programme (“Le Ballet Légendaire d’Ile de France”, “Le Bal Paré”, the 7th conservatory in Paris, ”héatre Baroque de France”). She is also a dancer of classical Indian dance Bharata Natyam, which she studied with Smt. M. K. Saroj in Madras.
She has collaborated with luminaries of ballet and dance on many occasions. She created choreographies for numerous baroque, classical, and Old Polish operas staged in Poland and abroad. She participated in the production of performances under the direction of Jean-Claude Malgoire. She also presented historical dance in collaboration with outstanding performers, including E. Stefańska, U. Bartkiewicz, K. Weiss (harpsichord) and J. Ter Linden (baroque cello).
As a dancer and choreographer, she collaborates with many theatres in Poland, the Warsaw Chamber Opera, the Royal Castles in Krakow, Warsaw and Niepołomice; and numerous other institutions in Poland and abroad. Moreover, she gives historical dance classes at the Academy of Music in Cracow and in Łódź as well as many courses in her fields of expertise.
Romana Agnel was the originator and artistic director of the Cracovia Danza Court Dance Festival which takes place every year in August in Cracow.
For many years she has promoted the classical Indian dance Bharata Natyam in Poland and abroad, as an ambassador of both Polish and European dance in India. In Paris she participated in Indian dance performances with the group “Tilak”. Together with M. Pomianowska and her Ensemble, and with S. Bhattacharya, she produced a performance entitled Poland – India: Conversations. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, she went on three artistic tours, invited by dancers and culture institutions of India where she performed European and Polish court dances as well as ran dance workshops, among others at the Indo-European Dance Festival organized by Alaknanda Institute for the Performing Arts.
Romana Agnel received 2nd Prize at the Parisian “La Scéne Française” competition in the category of character dance technique and was honoured with the Zofia Rayzacher Prize at the 9th Early Music Festival at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. In 2009 she was honoured with the badge of “Merit to Polish Culture” by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and the Medal of the National Education Commission by the Chief Education Officer in the Małopolskie Region. In 2010 she received the “Honoris Gratia” award for merit to the City of Krakow and its inhabitants from the Mayor of Cracow.
Romana Agnel is also author of a few publications on historical dance, including:
1) The Importance and Meaning of Gesture in the Opera and Ballet of the 17th and 18th centuries [in:] Improvisation in the music of the Baroque, ed. M. Zieliński, the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, Bydgoszcz 2004;
2) The Basic Forms of Court Dance in the Baroque [in:] Around Baroque Dance, ed. P. Grajter, the G. and K. Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź, Łódź 2007;
3) The Origins and the Symbolism of the Polonaise [w:] Vom Schäferidyll zur Revolution. Europäische Tanzkultur im 18. Jahrhundert. 2. Rothenfelster Tanzsymposion, red. U. Schlottermüller, H. Weiner, M. Richter, Freiburg 2008.