Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company announces Free Master Class: Contemporary Polish Dance for Professional Dancers with Jacek Luminski

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company announces Free Master Class: Contemporary Polish Dance for Professional Dancers with Jacek Luminski

The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company announces a very special event: a free master class in Contemporary Polish Dance for Professional Dancers taught by master dancer/choreographer Jacek Luminski on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, 11am at Gibney Dance Center, Studio 8, 890 Broadway, NYC.

A pioneer in contemporary dance whose work has influenced generations of European choreographers, Dr. Luminski has developed his unique voice from the Silesia region of Poland through his investigation into the roots of Polish and Jewish dance traditions in his native region. This residency is supported by Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Poland.

Luminski’s training offer is based on exploration of principles and craft of a variety of virtues that make his concept of bodily movement function in a theatrical idiom. In the process of mastering physical movement in direct association with the thinking process. Luminski deploys a set of principles embedded in Peripetea (theatrical concept). Peripetea is a starting point for extensive exploration which connects the students with the virtues of negation, opposition, equivalence, thinking the thought, twin logics, omission, dilation, fragmentation and reconstruction, concatenation and simultaneity.

For Luminski, technique is not limited to bodily movement. It is a concept that reflects the nature of thought; activity of the human brain; it may go into exploration of voice, mentality, and psychological traits. It is very much like acting – both acting and moving are integral parts of technique. The dancers are becoming transmitters of the ideas – it is transparent in their performance. They also transmit “secrets”, which is their personal knowledge, personal experiences, point of views and philosophy. These secrets are like packets of particles or seeds which if well cultivated may flourish; they may become potential nutrients for spiritual lives of a community.

Luminski has developed a unique dance technique that has evolved through his twenty years of research on Polish folklore and folk traditions of Polish Jews. His work may reflect, a certain sense of space, unique to communities of Podhale that is related to their traditional feeling of freedom and independence drawing the complex rhythms of their music and the power of open-throat singing. By the same token, an analysis of Jewish songs, legends, superstitions, customs, rituals, and dance forms – the importance of the palm of the hand, pelvis, chest, and spine – have also deeply influenced Luminski’s style and technique. The dancers float in space, connecting internal and external worlds, and going beyond them with the use of technical skills enriched with psychophysical tools and mental power reflecting the Hasidic tradition of dance as a conversation with God.

Luminski’s concept of dance, with its forward-looking innovation rooted in folk traditions, has earned him an international reputation. From Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1996, Adrienne Sichel wrote in The Star: “Luminski and his Silesian Dance Theatre are major role models. His demanding technique and sweeping choreographies are distillations of Polish and Jewish folklore elements. A physical breadth of movement is fused with an intrinsically musical fluidity and searing spirituality. On the surface, Luminski’s dances and eight dancers are smoothly sophisticated but, as he unveils the soul, capillaries of distress, of disquiet, sporadically surface.”

Nai-Ni Chen met Jacek Luminski in 2005 when Luminski invited Nai-Ni to the Silesian International Dance Festival, they soon became mutual admirers, and Luminski had brought Nai-Ni Chen back to Poland three times since then, and Nai-Ni Chen invited Jacek to create a new dance, Ashes of a Dead Frog for the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company which premiered in 2008. During this visit in November, Jacek will also work with the Artistic Director Greta Campo to revive Ashes of a Dead Frog for the Company’s 2023-24 season in New Jersey and New York. The new work, to be developed with PeiJu Chien-Pott, will be part of a cross-cultural collaborative program that will tour Europe in the coming season. A work-in-progress showcase is planned at City Center on Friday November 11 at 4PM. For attendance, please email:

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