“The Poland Project” is the unofficial title for Core Dance’s time here in Sichow, Poland. (Side note - Sichow is not, in fact, pronounced see-chow as I called it for the first three days. The correct pronunciation is along the lines of she-hoof!) However, there is really no way to put this process into words. Alongside artists from Britain, Israel, and Poland, Core Dance is experimenting, exploring, and playing with different ideas and inspirations. Perhaps this time will produce a few products - choreography, paintings, designs - but perhaps not. We may leave this oasis of the tiny Polish village and stunning countryside with simply memories, new relationships, and bodies full of more knowledge. I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to witness, document, and participate in this project for the first two-ish weeks. It’s impossible to portray the peace and utter awe of this experience in a blog post, but to give you a glimpse, I’ll share a little about our daily schedule.
We start each morning with an optional class for movers - this has varied from floorwork, to flying low vocabulary, to acro yoga. We then participate in a morning practice with the entire group. During this hour and a half, different artists will facilitate exercises that center us and prepare our bodies for the day. Before lunch, we have an open space during which artists can create and work in process - either individually or with others. We have another open space time in the afternoon, and conclude by coming together to reflect on the day. Some evenings, we will have fireside chats after dinner, during which we can discuss specific topics (such as poetry from Holocaust victims, our responsibility as artists during this particular time, and how we can give back to the land on which we’re working).
We work Tuesdays through Saturdays, and have Sundays and Mondays off. Last weekend, a group of us went to Krakow and explored the beautiful, ancient city. Personally, I mostly spent the time wandering all over and trying to soak up as much as possible of the sun and the sites. This coming weekend, we will be going to Lublin, a nearby city, and visiting Majdanek concentration camp. Majdanek was the first of the concentration camps to be liberated, and is the best preserved. It originated as a concentration camp, but then became an extermination camp - it’s sole purpose to kill as many people as possible. As much as I am looking forward to this weekend’s trip, I’m also trying to prepare myself for the emotional toll it is certain to take on my body and mind.
To follow Core Dance on our journey here in Poland, keep an eye out for future blog posts and follow our social media for daily updates.
Barbara Branson, Publications Manager, and the People of Core Dance