Mickiewicz’s Ballads and Romances: the Battle-Cry of Polish Romanticism
28 November, 7pm, The Polish Hearth Club (Ognisko Polskie)
Not just for Literature Lovers!
A unique evening of musical, literary and dance intepretations to mark the launch of the first ever English translation ‘Ballads and Romances’ by Adam Mickiewicz – widely held to be the manifesto of Polish Romanticism in what promises to be a fresh, engaging and modern presentation of Poland’s greatest Romantic Poet through different cultural mediums and interpretations of talents young performers.
The year 2022 was designated the Year of Romanticism in Poland. An even two hundred years have passed since the first publication of Adam Mickiewicz’s ‘Ballads and Romances’ — a collection of lyrics which have the same significance for Polish literature as Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads have for English literature.
Alongside a talk by translator Charles Kraszewski, the evening will fature a dramatic reading by actor and theatre director Joseph Alford from Theatre O alongside a dance interpretation by Ilona Gumowska and a musical interpretation by the inimitable Damsel Elysium, who has been described by Vogue as “London’s Most Stylish Experimental Sound Artist”
Whether you’re already interested in Romantic Literature, curious to discover the Polish Romantics, or simply interested in creative artistic interpretations by talented, young sound and dance artists, this event is for you!
Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.
The event will be followed by drinks and nibbles.
More about the translator and performers:
Charles S. Kraszewski
Born (1962), Charles Kraszewski is a literary translator from Polish, Czech and Slovak.
He is the author of four volumes of original poetry; three in English (Beast, Diet of Nails, and Chanameed) and two in Polish (Hallo, Sztokholm, 2021 and Skowycik, forthcoming, 2022). He has also published a satirical novel (Accomplices, You Ask?).
His translation of Mickiewicz’s Ballads and Romances, published to mark the two hundredth anniversary of the original Polish publication, was funded by the Polish Cultural Institute, London, and the Polish Book Institute, Kraków.
Besides Ballads and Romances, Kraszewski has also published translations of Mickiewicz’s Forefathers’ Eve and the Complete Sonnets.
Joseph W. Alford
Is a Director and Maker in theatre, opera, film and dance.
After studying with Jacques Lecoq in Paris he founded ‘Theatre O’ in London, and has since directed and performed all over the world.
He also spent 9 years working as a Movement Director in both theatre and opera, working with the Royal National Theatre, the RSC, Covent Garden Opera House and the Aix en Provence Opera Festival, amongst others.
Is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, experimental sound and visual artist based in London, who uses double bass, violin and original sounds to explore alternative communication and connections with space and nature.
Described by Vogue as “London’s most stylish experimental sound artist”, making scores for Gucci, as well as featuring in FKA Twigs Tiny Desk session – Damsel is an emerging avant-garde artist not to be ignored.
Damsel utilises double bass, violin and original field recordings to explore alternative communication and connections with physical spaces and nature.
Their aim is to establish an expressive world that speech or writing could never transmute. As a neurodivergent artist, it’s vital for them to create work that is accessible to all audiences and all senses. Combining experimental sound and sight, Elysium crafts worlds of their own, where they can be as fluid as their own feelings and skills are.”
Ilona Maria Gumowska
A dancer, a choreographer, a dance teacher, a psychologist. She graduated from the Institute of Choreography at the Academy of Music in Łódź.
Currently she is an academic teacher at this university. As a dancer, she collaborated with such artists as: Daniel Abreu, Roberto Olivan, Krystian Lada, Marcin Wrona, Tomasz Wygoda, Mariusz Treliński, Natasha Gilmore, Abhilash Ningappa, Jacek Owczarek, Kaya Kołodziejczyk, Jacek Gębura, Michał Walczak, Jacek Przybyłowicz.
She has performed on many Polish and foreign stages including The Capitol Musical Theater in Wrocław, The Rampa Theatre in Warsaw, The Brussels Royal Opera House La Monnaie, The Theater an der Wien in Vienna, The Royal Opera House in Stockholm.
For a few years she has been a dancer in The Zawirowania Dance Theater in Warsaw, the National Opera House in Warsaw, and the Barrowland Ballet in Glasgow. As a choreographer she cooperates with various theaters and directors in Poland and creates her own dance performances and movies.
She shows fascination with strong physicality and deepened presence. She searches among the body extremes and balances between what is known, comfortable with what is risky and yet undiscovered.