back to program

Agata Siniarska (PL): SECOND NATURE

The first thoughts around this project are embedded in the portrait of Pola Nireńska, dancer and choreographer, a Polish Jewess who, despite her entire life being a step away from the Nazis, has never escaped the memories of the Holocaust, persecuted by its experiences. The Holocaust, which became a inconceivable experience for humans, likewise turned out to be a breakthrough for the natural environment.

The Nazi genocide involved far-reaching ecocide. It can not be denied that not only as a result of extermination operations, but also preparatory nature suffered with humanity. Destruction of the environment is our contemporary annihilation. Just as during the Holocaust, today nature is once again an eco-witness of human destructive aspirations, as well as its victim. Over 70 years after the Nazi crime, we see before our very eyes how the ecological crisis is developing. Scientists say that without changes to our policy in 70 years, most of us will not be here anymore. Holocaust at a slow pace, and therefore less noticeable to the public.

As a generation born many decades after the Holocaust, with this project we are not daring to situate ourselves within this history and a story of Pola Nireńska. We cannot express this horror, pretend we understand it. Nevertheless we trust we still can and we shall learn from it, with this knowledge confronting our contemporary individual and collective stories.

The artists’ focus on Pola Nirenska was spurred by a competition for a dance performance inspired by Nirenska, opened by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in partnership with the Institute of Music and Dance. On the centenary of regaining independence, Poland has launched the project “Choreographic Territories – New Paths for the Avant-garde” open to young dancers and choreographers inspired by the world icons of choreography of Polish descent. “Second Nature” is the second production in the series after “The Yanka Rudzka Project: Polyphonies”. In the coming years, participating artists will create choreographies inspired by Bronislava Nijinska and Marie Rambert. The objective of the project is to rediscover and support contemporary dance in Central and Eastern Europe. Each new production is presented in selected countries of the region.

“Second Nature” has been developed in coproduction of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the Institute of Music and Dance and HELLERAU as a premiere for “Erbstücke“   
The performance will be presented in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria in June, July, September and October. For more information, visit 

Concept: Agata Siniarska, Karolina Grzywnowicz 
Installation: Karolina Grzywnowicz 
Choreography: Agata Siniarska, Katarzyna Wolińska, inspired by Pola Nireńska’s Holocaust Tetralogy, Isadora Duncan’s Bacchanal, and Marcus Coates’s Extinct Animals 
Dramatic advisor: Mateusz Szymanówka 
Consultants: Aleksandra Jach, Aleksandra Janus, Franziska Dieterich, Jacek Małczyński, Magdalena Zamorska, Michał Guzik, Weronika Kostyrko 

Production: Artists Association Four Dimensions Are Not Enough for Us, Agata Siniarska, 
Karolina Grzywnowicz 
Co-production: Hellerau European Centre for the Arts 
The production has been carried out as a part of the “Choreographic Territories – new paths of 
the avant-garde” project, held in collaboration between the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Institute of Music and Dance, 
Hellerau European Centre for the Arts, East European Performing Arts Platform, Art Stations 
Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk and Lublin Dance Theatre. The installation was produced in 
co-operation with Pilecki Institute. 
The project is held by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of POLSKA 100, the 
international cultural programme accompanying the centenary of Poland regaining 
independence. Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic 
of Poland as part of the multi-annual programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017–2022. 

Premiere: 26 April 2019, HELLERAU European Centre of the Arts in Dresden 

With the support of: