Krzysztof Pastor appointed director of the Polish National Ballet
Krzysztof Pastor, resident choreographer of the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam, was appointed the new director of the Polish National Opera ballet company in Warsaw on 15 March 2009. Born in Poland, he was educated in Gdansk, and began his career as a dancer in 1975 when he joined the Polish Dance Theatre in Poznan. Starting in 1983, he danced as soloist with Le Ballet de l’Opéra of Lyon, and from 1985 to 1995 with the Dutch National Ballet. He debuted as a choreographer in Amsterdam in 1987, and in 2003 was appointed resident choreographer of the Dutch National Ballet. He has also worked as a choreographer with the Washington Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Israel Ballet, Australian Ballet and West Australian Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Lithuanian National Ballet, Latvian National Ballet, Semper Oper Dresden, Royal Flemish Ballet, and Donau Ballet, and also for Svetlana Zakharova and Andrei Mercurev at the Moscow Bolshoi Ballet.
Waldemar Dabrowski, former Polish minister of culture and the new general director of the Grand Theatre in Warsaw which is the home of the Polish National Opera, tempted Pastor into leaving Amsterdam and returning to Warsaw by offering him the possibility of turning the opera’s ballet company into the autonomous Polish National Ballet. The company will continue to work at the Grand Theatre, taking advantage of its budget, stages and technical workshops, but now on an equal footing with the Polish National Opera. The company will also present its productions at other theatres around Poland. Pastor’s partner for programme and organizational matters is Polish ballet critic Pawel Chynowski, and the company’s ballet mistress will be Warsaw teacher Kalina Schubert. The previous director of the Warsaw ballet company, Emil Wesolowski, will stay on as resident choreographer.
This season in Warsaw, Krzysztof Pastor is producing his full-length ballet Tristan to the music of Wagner (premiere on 29 March 2009), and after the holidays, on 20 November 2009, he will stage another of his ballet productions, Kurt Weill, which was greatly successful in 2001 in Amsterdam and was nominated for the prestigious Benois de la Danse prize. April 2010 will see the ballet company working with French choreographer Patrice Bart, who has been commissioned to produce a new ballet about Frédéric Chopin to mark the 200th anniversary of the great Polish composer’s birth. For June 2010, Pastor has planned a ballet evening entitled Bach Dances featuring pieces by guest choreographers. The company’s repertoire will continue to include earlier great productions staged in Warsaw by Natalia Makarova (La Bayadère), Yuri Grigorovich (The Sleeping Beauty), John Cranko (Onegin), Irek Mukhamedov (Swan Lake), Andrzej Glegolski (The Nutcracker), Alexei Ratmansky (Anna Karenina), and Emil Wesolowski (Romeo and Juliet). Workshops for young Polish choreographers will be held every year. Pastor also plans to develop his ballet company’s strength, and to this aim has scheduled auditions for this June to find new soloists and dancers.
Office of the Polish National Ballet