About the Festival

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

A few words...

Each year at the beginning of July, Lądek-Zdrój changes into a summer capital of dance.

Dance and choreography classes, evening performances of dance theatres, showcases, meetings with artists, Nights with Dance and exhibitions, are only some of scheduled attractions at the Olga Sawicka International Dance Festival in Lądek-Zdrój.

For many years, these attractions bring to Lądek hundreds of those who are keen on dancing but also look for the unique things they can find only in our town: picturesque mountainous landscapes, the possibility to try treatment waters, SPA, extraordinary climate of health-resort and relax. Our classes are designed for those who already dance and those who wish to start their adventure with dancing or just spend active holiday in a beautiful health-resort. Our offer is addressed to participants at any age so all families are welcomed. We have a Baby Club where parents may leave their children under the supervision of our educators.

Read our offer.

Organisers

Olga Sawicka has been a guest at our festival since the very beginning of its existence.

In 2009 in Lądek-Zdrój, there was held a meeting with Olga Sawicka devoted to her autobiography entitled “Life with Dance” where the artist tells Stefan Drajewski, an editor, about her memories.

PATRON OF THE FESTIVAL

Olga Sawicka

Olga Sawicka’s star started to shine in 1947 in the Opera of Poznań. She was 15. Two years later Jerzy Kapliński (choreographer) and Barbara Bittnerówna (prima ballerina) took still under-age Olga to Bytom. They saw her talent that needed polishing. She did not disappoint them. Soon, she flowered as a dancer, dancing Swanilda in “Coppelia” on Silesia, Colombina in “Cagliostro in Warsaw”, Maria in “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, the titular “Golden Duck”… While on Silesia, she debuted in the film “Warsaw Premiere”.

In 1953, she moved to the Warsaw Opera and conquered Warsaw dancing Swanilda, Julia in “Romeo and Juliet” ballet, Odette in “Swan Lake”, the Queen of the Hell in “Pan (Sir) Twardowski”, Amelia in “Mazepa”, the titular Giselle and the Queen of Copper Mountain in “The World of Stone”. She also played one of the leads in the film “Belshazzar’s Feast” and the leading role in Polish TV Theatre “Julitta ze snów”. During her Warsaw period, she was on a bursary in Paris which she prolonged because she was dancing in Milord Miskovic’s group “Les Étoiles de Paris”.

She was also on a bursary in the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and until now she is the only Pole who danced twice the leading role of Giselle with that theatre group. In 1962, she got married and left for Paris. Then the Paris Opera was closed for dancers from outside France. Unable to find a home for herself by the Seine, she came back to Poznań accepting the proposition of Conrad Drzewiecki and she became the prima ballerina of the Poznań Opera. Again, she had the audience at her feet. She danced in Drzewiecki’s author’s shows: “Valses nobles et sentimentales” and “La Valsce”, “Rhapsody in Blue”, “Improvisations to Shakespeare”, “Divertimento”, “The Firebird”, and classical ballets: “The Sylph”, “Giselle”, “Swan Lake” (this time as Odette and Odile). She cooperated with the Polish Television…

In 1975, Olga Sawicka ended her work on the stage. Her illness precluded her from further work as a dancer. But soon she came back to the theatre as a choreographer and guest educator… In the second half of the 80s, she was a dance educator at the General Ballet School. Olga’s life was beautiful. She loved and was loved. Sławomir Pietras called her the Queen of Polish Ballet and she will be her forever.

Stefan Drajewski

SPONSOR OF THE FESTIVAL

Sławomir Pietras

Sławomir Pietras – a lawyer by education, a director of Polish opera houses by profession. For 40 years, he has managed the opera houses of Wrocław, Łódź, Warsaw and Poznań.

He has created many remarkable and rarely staged productions of classical repertoire (Fidelio, Norma, Mephistopheles, Macbeth, Ernani, The Jewess, The Valkyrie, Parsifal, of “Die Kluge” author) as well as works of contemporary composers (Penderecki, Landowski, Britten, Szostakiewicz, Orff, Theodorakis and others). Nearly 300 opera and ballet premieres have been staged under his supervision. These performances have been many a time showed at international festivals in Xanten, Carcassone, Messina, Moscow, Hanover, Málaga, Thessaloniki.

As a co-author of the Polish Dance Theatre, he finds ballet art very important in the repertoire, promotes young choreographers and organises international ballet festivals (including Lodz Ballet Festival, Lądek Summer Ballet Festival).
For ten years, he has been the director of the Moniuszko Festival in Kudowa-Zdrój, Ave Maria in Czeladź and Hoffmann Festival in Poznań. He is a juror in competitions for vocalists both home and abroad, he deals with journalism, gets involved in affairs important for the opera circles through his activity in the Opera Friend’s Society in Poznań and the Musical Youth Association in Warsaw (in the past) as well as the Board for Cultural Matters at the Polish President and the Theatre Directors’ Association (now).

For many years, he has been the initiator of the Opera Workshops conducted in all theatres he managed. They are attended by crowds of music lovers who want to understand the problems of opera and ballet art through personal contact with the director and artists. He has always promoted the idea of reaching various places and environments with opera and ballet within Poland.
Since 2006, he has been a Honourable Citizen of Lądek-Zdrój. He is also the winner of Lądek-Zdrój Mayor Award called “Wstęga Białej Lądeckiej” in the category of the Ambasador of 2008.