THE SOPOT DANCE THEATRE
The Sopot Dance Theatre, previously known as Okazjonalny Theatre, was started by a couple of certified dancers, choreographers and members of the Polish Actors’ Association (ZASP): Joanna Czajkowska and Jacek Krawczyk, who started their artistic co-operation in 1998.
The Sopot Dance Theatre has completed and performed over twenty spectacles, including e.g. “Art Cafe”, “Aromaty” (Aromas), “Signum Temporis”, “Viva la Vida”, “HelikopterTanz Streichquartett” (Helicopter Tanz Streichquartett), “Kwadrat. Wersja 6” (The Square. Version 6), “Alchemik Halucynacji” (The Alchemist of Hallucination), as well as “D-KOD-R”, “BIO-OBIEKT.INTRO” (BIO – OBJECT. INTRO), which the theatre presented on many modern dance and alternative theatre festivals both in Poland (including Gdańsk, Kraków, Warszawa, Poznań, Łódź, Szczecin, Olsztyn, Lublin, and Wrocław) and abroad (among others, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Germany, Lithuania, the Belarusian Republic, Romania and Sweden.
Critics have often written about Okazjonalny Theatre in a range of professional magazines such as the Polish Teatr, Scena, or the German BalletTanz, presenting it as one of the leading Polish dance theatres.
In January 2006, Joanna Czajkowska and Jacek Krawczyk were nominated to the ‘Artist of the Year 2005’ Award in the Theatre category in a competition organized by Gazeta Wyborcza Trójmiasto daily. Jacek Krawczyk also received the Theatre Award 2005 from the Marshal of the Pomorskie province for the choreography and direction of the plays “Kwadrat. Wersja 6” (The Square. Version 6) and “Helicopter Tanz Streichquartett”.
In July 2006, the creators of Okazjonalny Theatre were distinguished by receiving an invitation from director of the the Dance Advance program to take part as guests in the Live Art Festival and Philly Fringe in Philadelphia.
In April 2007, Jacek Krawczyk received the honorary award of ‘Person of Merit in Polish Culture’ from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
The Founders of Okazjonalny Theatre also provided the idea and acted as co-organizers of two “Dance Theatre Evenings”, organized together with the Sopot City of Artists organization, as well as the OPOZYCJA (OPPOSITION) Theatre Festival, already organized in the Sopot-based Scena Off de Bicz theatre. They also promote the art of dance by giving lectures on the history and theory of choreography, as well as workshops in modern dance, composition and dance improvisation.
Despite the passage of time, artists from Okazjonalny Theatre have remained faithful to their initial artistic creed, according to which the most important thing in building a play is the Idea. Only then, can the movements be explored and analyzed in such a way that the choreography fully expresses the Idea. The movements, which are based on modern dance techniques, and the actors’ presence both in the roles they play and in presented situations are of equivalent importance. As a result of movements created out of meanings and emotions and strengthened by the appropriate dramatic effect, they want to create genuine situations on the stage, which are close to the heart of every person and will move the audience deeply.
Other persons co-operating with Okazjonalny Theatre include, among others: Monika Grzelak and Przemysław Wereszczyński (dancers and choreographers), Mateusz Skutnik (webmaster and author of graphic images for the Vida la Vida play, a cartoon artist), Grzegorz Welizarowicz, Rafał Dętkoś and Marcin Zabrocki (music), Andrzej Pawłowski (computer graphics, photography, technical service), Bartosz Cybowski and Adam Akerman (lights direction), Piotr Czajkowski (technical service), as well as Radosław Orłowski, Magdalena Brzezińska, Piotr Wołoszyk, Iwona and Jarosław Cieślikowski (photography).
Since June 2004, the Sopot-based Scena OFF de BICZ theatre is the headquarters of Okazjonalny Theatre.
The list of Occasional Theatre productions include;
– “Niunia poważnie myśli o życiu” (The Bimbo is Seriously Thinking about Life), a play from the Czajkowska – Krawczyk team, under the name “teatr Kino Variatino”, premiere: July1998;
– “Obrazki z Wystawy” (Pictures from the Exhibition), premiere: January 2000;
– ,”Nietota”, in co-operation with the Dada von Bzdülöw theatre, premiere: July 2000;
– “Śluby” (The Vows), in co-operation with the National Art Gallery in Sopot, premiere: December 2000;
– “Kometa Donikąd” (A Comet to Nowhere), premiere: December 2000;
– “Toporiada”, in co-operation with the National Art Gallery in Sopot, premiere: January 2001
– “Art Cafe”, premiere: November 2001;
– “Matylda” (Matilda), an original solo play written by Jacek Krawczyk, premiere: May 2002;
– “Im wyżej tym lepiej” (The Higher the Better), in co-operation with the Kino Variatino theatre, premiere: May 2002
– “Lata nie będzie” (Summer is Cancelled), in co-operation with the Kino Variatino theatre, premiere: June 2002.
– “Aromaty” (Aromas)” premiere: October 2002
– “W czerni i bieli” (In Black and White), a project from the J. Krawczyk and Iwona Gilarska duo, premiere: February 2003
– “Signum Temporis”, direction and choreography: J. Czajkowska and J. Krawczyk; premiere: January 2004.
– “Carpet show”, directed by: J. Czajkowska; premiere: June 2004
– “wu:zi”, choreography and performance: Iwona Gilarska, premiere: August 2004;
– “Przedpołudnie Flory” (Flora’s Late Morning), choreography and performance: J. Czajkowska; premiere: August 2004
– “Viva la Vida!”, choreography: J. Czajkowska, J. Krawczyk, I. Gilarska, premiere: December 2004,
the performance was completed thanks to a scholarship from the Marshall of the Pomorskie province.
– “Helikopter Tanz Streichquartett” (Helicopter Tanz Streichquartett) , a solo peformance by Jacek Krawczyk, premiere: sierpień 2005
– “Kwadrat. Wersja 6” (The Square. Version 6), concept and direction: J. Czajkowska, J. Krawczyk, choreography and performance: I. Gilarska, J. Czajkowska, J. Krawczyk, David Cassel, premiere: grudzień 2005,
– “Alchemik Halucynacji” (The Alchemist of Hallucination), concept, choreography and performance: J. Czajkowska, J, Krawczyk, premiere: grudzień 2006, the performance was produced with the help of grants for artists provided by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, as well as the Marshal of the Pomorskie Province.
– “D-KOD-R”, choreography and performance: M. Grzelak, J. Czajkowska, P. Wereszczyński,
J. Krawczyk, premiere 09.03.2007
– “BIO-OBIEKT. INTRO” (BIO-OBJECT. INTRO), choreography and performance: Jacek Krawczyk, premiere: grudzień 2007
– “TAK” (YES), choreography and performance: Joanna Czajkowska, premiere: grudzień 2007
During the last ten years, the Occassional Theatre has given performances on numerous festivals, including e.g. the Malta International Theatre Festival in Poznań, the Baltic Dance University, the Feta International Open-Air and Street Theatres Festival in Gdańsk, Dance Explosions, the Polemiqi Dance Festival in Warsaw (an award for the dramatic effect and the Audience Award), the International Lublin Dance Theatre Meetings, the International Street Theatre Festival in Cracow, the Gdańsk Dance Corporation, the Theatrical Forms Festival in Warsaw, the ANEX Solo Artists Festival in Warsaw, the Dance Republic in Teatr Mały in Warsaw (author’s evening), the Zamek Culture Centre in Poznań (author’s evening), the Łódź Theatre Meetings, the Three-Day Theatre Festival in Olsztyn, the Kraków Ballet Meetings, the KLAMRA Alternative Theatres Festival in Toruń, as well as the Old Brewery – New Dance cycle in Poznań.
The theatre has also presented its performances outside Poland, among others in the Duncan Center in the Prague (the Czech Republic), the Teatro Dienas Festival (Lithuania), the Schwankhalle Art Centre in Bremen (Germany), the Agenda Cultural in Lisbon (Portugal), the Polish Pink even in the Pink House in Bremen (Germany), the International Festival of Modern Choreography in Witebsk (Belarus), the Euro-Scene Leipzig Festival (Germany), the Odeon theatre in Bucharest, the Ariel theatre (Romania), the PLAI festival in Timisoara (Romania), the Lokstallarna Art Centre in Karlshamm (Sweden).