The Chopin Project

The Chopin ad

photo © Chris Leck Photography

 
Chopin duet

photo © Jerzy Malysz Photography

Year of Chopin 200th Anniversary

Selected Preludes Op. 28, Nocturne: Op. 9 no. 1, Revolutionary Etude, Waltz Op 64 no 2 by Fredyryk Chopin
for actor, pianist and 8 dancers
Chopin’s letters, edited for performance by Agnieszka Laska
in Polish with English subtitles
Choreography: Agnieszka Laska
Costumes: Ela Kwasek, Becca Price

Fryderyk Chopin avoided descriptive titles for his musical works. However, of all composers of the era, his music is some of the most emotionally invested. An early and famous inspiration was the beautiful young singer Konstancja Gladkowska. In letters to a friend, Chopin mentions compositions (even passages) about her. Of these Concerto No. 2 in F minor is perhaps the best known.
So successful a concerto at age 20 was significant in launching Chopin’s touring career to western Europe. November 2nd, 1830, Fryderyk Chopin was seen off on his first professional tour by friends and admirers, with a ring from Konstancja on his finger and in his hand a silver cup filled with Polish soil — neither was he to see ever again.
Konstancja outlived Chopin 40 years; married, mother of five, kept Fryderyk’s portrait and his letters till end of her life – and burned all memorabilia days before her death.

That the laurels of renown might never come to wilt,
Leave you now Your closest friends and dearest family;
Strangers may esteem You more, reward you to the hilt,
But they surely cannot love You stronger than do we.

— from Konstancja Gladowska’s sztambuch (19th C. “facebook”)

Chopin1

photo © www.transcendentphoto.com

…sposobow na promowanie polskiej kultury jest wiele, jedne lepsze, a jeszcze inne mocniejsze. ten wystep jest jednak wyjatkowy, trafiajacy prosto w serca wszystkich, bez wyjatku…
“…there are many ways to promote Polish culture, some better, some stronger, but this show was exceptional, reaching the hearts of literally everyone in the audience…’
pelna recenzja + pictures by © Dariusz Lachowski www.transcendentphoto.com

Chopin 2

photo © www.transcendentphoto.com

…Widowisko przygotowane przez znaną choreograf, która od lat prowadzi grupę baletową w Portland w stanie Oregon, przerosło nasze wyobrażenia i spowodowało, że muzykę naszego najwybitniejszego kompozytora epoki romantyzmu zaczęliśmy odbierać nie tylko zmysłem słuchu, ale też wzroku…
‘…the performance, authored by a renowned choreographer, running her dance company in Portland, Oregon for many years now, was incredible — beyond our imagination. As a result we started to sense the music of our greatest romantic composer not only through hearing it but by seeing it as well…”
pelna recenzja + pictures by © Robert Wachowiak:

pictures by © Piotr Czarny

pictures by © JERZY MALYSZ PHOTOGRAPHY

Chopin Amelia

photo © Chris Leck Photography

Frederic Chopin (Fryderyk Szopen) is not only perhaps the greatest Polish composer, he is, to every person with Polish roots, an icon and symbol of the indomitable perseverance of Polish culture. For 126 years Poland, as a sovereign nation, didn’t exist. It was partitioned by Russia, Germany and Austria. My nation survived and preserved its Polish heritage thanks, largely, to artists who cultivated Polish music, literature and poetry at a time when even speaking Polish was illegal. My grandparents were born before Poland regained independence (1918) and at family gatherings always sang the “forbidden” songs of their youth. The importance of Chopin’s music for our nation was widely known. During the Nazi occupation, playing Chopin was illegal. One could face execution! Yet, many Poles (including my grandmother) arranged illegal family concerts. I simply had to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Chopin, with choreography that render composers first love; a relationship deeply human, tender and passionately tragic.
Agnieszka Laska

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