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a ballet for children

The Ugly Duckling ballet – the latest version of a timeless fairy tale. We spin a dancing yarn of making friends, of getting to know yourself, of learning your strengths and your weaknesses. Will the Ugly One find its place under the sun? Will it make it back to its family? Will it revel in true friendship found? Don’t you worry, the way we tell it, you’ll never stop believing! And who is us? We are a troupe of aspiring young apprentices and their experienced ballet masters, dancing to live musical accompaniment. You are also us, our uniquely young and bright audience … that knows it all!

Composer Michał Jurkiewicz
Libretto Izabela Biniek
Regisseur Agata Kamykowska
Choreography Marta Mietelska-Topór
Assistants Joanna Czarnecka, Stanisław Iwanicki, Kamil Zdańkowski
Animation Paweł Kamykowski

Leading roles: Jakub Kwiatek [Chris] , Lena Sajdak [The Ugly Duckling] Ensemble: Joanna Czarnecka, Maria Florczyk, Zofia Florczyk, Natalia Grunwald, Nicole Hałucha, Stanisław Iwanicki, Agata Kamykowska, Liliana Klimczyk, Arkadiusz Krzywda, Karolina Krzywda, Hanna Lewkowicz, Marta Mietelska-Topór, Martyna Potępa, Wei Ran, Maria Radlińska, Blanka Sysak, Magdalena Zatorska, Kamil Zdańkowski
Live music by: Śrubki Orchestra

Crush on Trash Foundation
Michał Jurkiewicz

Sztukarnia Foundation
Art Color Ballet
Financially supported by the Kraków Culture Forum, within the framework of the Composing Commissions programme, realized through the Culture Promoting Fund of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

The Ugly Duckling ballet is a perfect way to introduce children to a live stage expression. Experiencing art at first hand, dance, music or theatre alike, offers the most meaningful lessons in life. It develops their emotional intelligence, aesthetic values and enables them to actively participate in art. In our performance, classical ballet forms are used to offer a present-day take on the Hans Christian Andersen canonical fairy tale. It is a visually enriching statement made through music and stage movement which makes children aware that dance can be used as a primary form of expression. Young audiences also strongly relate to the sight of their peers sharing the stage with professional dancers and musicians. The Ugly Duckling is recommended for children aged 4-12 and its aim is to first get them acquainted with and then ultimately interested in the world of dance and music. The performance is made up of 12 choreographed scenes, including solo, duet and ensemble ones. Its structure exemplifies a traditional ballet form, starting with an overture and ending with a complex finale performed by the whole ensemble. In addition, it is an informative introduction to various dancing movements such as those of classical ballet, contemporary, jazz, ballroom or folk dances. As for some children in the audience The Ugly Duckling will represent their first experience of ballet, our chief guideline was to create a light-hearted show that would stimulate their creativity, imagination, aesthetic sensitivity, feeling for rhythm and appreciation of music.

Michał Jurkiewicz, composer, conductor Born and bred in Rzeszów. A composer, pianist, organist (Hammond organs), arranger, multi-instrumentalist , music producer, author of lyrics and a graduate of the Academy of Music in Kraków. Has composed music for Zbigniew Wodecki, Grzegorz Turnau, Andrzej Sikorowski, Kuba Badach and various other artists. The author of A Night Like No Other, a Christmas carol. In 2019, in Kalwaria Pacławska, his music for the Vigilamus oratorio was premiered, while 2020 saw the first performance of his Psalms of Love and Hope oratorio. His are also the musical scores for The Story of Jazz and In the Land of Music, two performances for children. Apart from giving his own concerts, he is also regularly touring and cooperating with Grzegorz Turnau’s band, Magda Stęczkowska, Monika Kuszyńska, Katarzyna Gaertner. He has co-authored the Rock Loves Chopin project and taken it on tour to Asia, America and Europe. He has done the arrangements for the Piotr Nalepa Breakout Tour symphonic project and has also acted as the music editor of numerous concerts and TV programmes, e.g. The Students’Song Review, the Papal Concert in Wadowice, Marek Grechuta’s Festival in Kraków. A member of Tomek Szymus’ Orchestra, Jacek Królik’s Quartet as well as Il Giardino d’Amore ensemble.Gets around on a draisine of his own, collects vintage vehicles.

Izabela Kosowska Libretto An alumna of the Jagiellonian University, AGH University of Science and Technology, the Academy of Music in Kraków, with a degree in cultural management. Has the experience of organizing numerous concerts and art events under her belt. Spiritus movens of festivals like The Konieczny Festival [dedicated to Zygmunt Konieczny] or The Festival of Small Theatrical Forms at the Bagatela Theatre in Kraków. The chief organizer of the Inauguration of the Year of Chopin in Kraków. The mastermind behind Family Matinees, At the Old Cinema and Resurrecting the Joy Cinetheatre projects, In the Land of Music operetta, Hocus Pocus Hocus Operus opera. Firmly believes culture is the sine qua non of the education of children and teenagers.
Agata Kamykowska Regisseur, dancer, set design A dancer, designer, with a degree in architecture and urban design from the Cracow University of Technology. Her creative interests combine in stage design and spatial stage installations. One such installation was presented at the Kraków Opera in 2020 to mark the opening of the exhibition of photography documenting the body art works of the Art Color Ballet. Dance has been another of her enduring passions. Currently, she is a member of the Art Color Ballet ensemble. Along the way, she has gained experience as a choreographer, ballet instructor and regisseur while working with children and teenagers at In the Land of Music operetta [Katowice and its Gardens project], The Story of Jazz musical for children [Katowice Cultural Centre] or The Alchemy of Light visual performance in Katowice. She is the co-founder of the dancing cooperative Embodiments Dance Co-op, which concentrates on the production of small theatrical or cinematic forms and organizes workshops for dancing duets. A co-founder of the Crush on Trash foundation [Kraków Civic Centre award, Heralds of Change, 2020], striving to creatively address ecological issues. As a part of the Crush on Trash creative team she has produced an educational video, Ecostream, and The Urban Flows installation [The National Museum in Kraków].

Marta Mietelska-Topór Choreography, dancer, set design A professional dancer, performer, dance instructor, with an M.A. in environmental protection. Started dancing at The Kraków Opera Ballet Studio, then in 2009 graduated from the Roman Turczynowicz Ballet School in Warsaw. She has taken part in numerous contemporary dance projects like A Body in the City, Dance Moves Cities, or in those of the Kraków Opera such as Cabaret Lunarie and Beautiful Helena. Since 2010, a member of the Art Color Ballet ensemble. As a choreographer and dance instructor she has cooperated with The Artistic Education for Children, The Dance Art Centre in Kraków, the artistic gymnastics clubs Sokól and Olimpia, the jazz dance school Tam Tan, the Kraków Opera Ballet Studio, and various other cultural institutions. A co-founder of Crush on Trash foundation which promotes artistic and ecological education. A part of the creative team on the Ecostream educational video.

Joanna Czarnecka Assistant choreographer, young dancers’ coaching, dancer A dancer, choreographer, dancing instructor. A graduate of the Kraków Opera Ballet Studio. An active member of the Art Color Ensemble since 2011 where she has performed in The Slavic Prelude, Cryptonym 27, The Amber Tree, both in Poland and abroad. Since 2010, a dance instructor certified by the Warsaw School of Physical Education and Tourism. She teaches ballet, jazz and contemporary dance techniques [to children, teenagers and adults] both in private dance schools and commercial dance studios. She has co-authored ballet concerts organized by the Artistic Education for Children at the Dance Art Centre, as well as concerts and performances given by the Jazz Dance Studio TAM TAN in Kraków.
Stanisław Iwanicki Assistant choreographer, dancer, stage technician Dance has been his passion and profession. An alumnus of the K.F. Dankiewicz Vocational Art School in Odessa, its folk dance department. He is also a graduate of the Dance Department of the Ludwik Solski State School of Acting in Bytom. Currently dancing and performing with the Art Color Ballet, in the Slavic Prelude, Cryptonim 27 and the Amber Tree shows. He is also enjoying a successful modelling career. Interested in the Movement, Acro Yoga and acrobatics. Specializes in partnering techniques, contemporary and physical dance as well as dance theatre.

Kamil Zdańkowski Assistant choreographer, dancer, young dancers’ coaching A physicist, dancer and a dance instructor. Specializes in jazz, modern and contemporary dance, does not frown on ballroom dances either. An ex-member of the contemporary dance group of the Makielak Dance School and the Youth Dance Theatre in Tarnowskie Góry. Spent many years dancing with the Contemporary Dance Group TESS at the Cultural Centre in Tarnowskie Góry. In 2014 he joined the Kielce Dance Theatre, directed by Elżbieta Pańtak, where he also acquired a dance instructor licence. Performed also with the Art Color Ballet and the Silesian Song and Dance ensemble. Presently cooperating with Castello Theatre. As a dance instructor,he has coached the Small TESS Group in Tarnowskie Góry and the EKS-tremum Dance squad in Jędrzejów.