Iza Szostak is a dancer and choreographer. She graduated from the Roman Turczynowicz Ballet School in Warsaw (2003) and the Codarts Rotterdam Dance Academy (2008). Currently, she studies ethnology and anthropology at the University of Warsaw.
As a student, she appeared in numerous dance performances in Poland and abroad: in 2005 she performed with Dariusz Lewandowski’s Kompania Primavera (Ostatnie takie lato, Kofta).
In 2007 she interned in Belgium at Jan Febre’s group Troubleyn. In the Netherlands she collaborated with such artist as Michael Schumacher, Amy Raymond, Krisztina de Chatel and Felix Ruckert. Since 2008 she has been collaborating with Anna Holter + Company in Munich.
In 2009 she took part in the Urban Explorer festival in Dordrecht and in Guilherme Botelho’s (Cie Alias) project O avesso, avesso presented at the Body/Mind Festival in Warsaw. In 2010 she performed in the project Let’s dance Chopin (choreography by Marysia Stokłosa) and created her own solo choreographies Karmi-go, Feedback and Grandpa-go.
She has won scholarships from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (“Młoda Polska” Programme, 2007), Dutch Corrie Hartong Fonds (2006) and an educational programme Alternative Dance Academy in Poznań (2009/2010 Stary Browar Nowy Taniec coordinated by Joanna Leśnierowska, Arts Stations Foundation). In 2011 she was resident of Solo Project at Stary Browar in Poznań, where she created From culture to nature (artistic consultation: Ornella Balestra and Luca Giacomo Schulte). Also in 2011, Edyta Kozak’s Folk? A ja się nie zgadzam featuring with Iza Szostak premiered at the Body/Mind Festival. Szostak also performed in Wojtek Ziemilski's Prologue, a project based on extensive interactions with the audience in which the performers communicated with the audience using headphones.
In 2011 she also participated in the latest dance performance by Kompania Primavera, Short Story (choreography by Dariusz Lewandowski) drawing on Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz’s short story The Maids of Wilko. The performance was presented during the Warsaw Dance Stage cycle in 2012. There Szostak also presented for the first time her own piece The glass jar next to the glass jar, a collaboration with Monika Morawska.
October 2012 saw the premiere of Szostak’s latest project RE//MIX Merce Cunningham, produced as a result of a competition organised jointly by komuna//warszawa and the Institute of Music and Dance in Warsaw. Initiated in 2010 by komuna//warszawa, the RE//MIX series features new productions referring back to classic pieces of theatre and dance, but also literature and film. Iza Szostak’s remix focuses on the working methods and conceptions, plus a collection of choreographic quotes from Merce Cunningham, founder of American postmodern dance.
Currently, Szostak participates in SPAZIO, a EU-supported international scholarship project for young choreographers.
For a few years now, the artist has been fascinated with working with people who are not professional dancers. She refers in her work to authentic movement, Laban Movement Analysis and elements of Forsythe’s improvisation.
She finds great pleasure in teaching dance and movement composition, enjoys singing (yet thinks she can’t do it), and improvises on stage and in life. She is also dreaming about a journey to New Zealand.
Since 2013 Iza Szostak has been member of Centrum w Ruchu, an association of Warsaw-based choreographers and a space for performance art, set up by Burdag Foundation. Located in a former middle school made available to the artists by the authorities of Warsaw’s city district Wawer as part of their project of culture promotion, Wawer Sphere of Culture [Wawerska Strefa Cultury], the facility hosts rehearsals, workshops and pre-premiere presentations. CwR is the first successful attempt at setting up a permanent workplace for Warsaw’s independent choreographers.