Performative programme
Old Brewery New Dance

Since 2004 Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk (ASF) has been providing extensive support to the development of contemporary choreography through its performative programme based in Poznań, and recognized internationally under the name Stary Browar Nowy Taniec / Old Brewery New Dance. Conceived and curated by Joanna Leśnierowska, the program provided Polish and international dance community with the unique meeting point in Central Eastern Europe – a platform for research, creation and choreographic (self)reflection bringing forward the art of choreography in dialogue with other disciplines, examining its history, theory and future, revisiting and interrogating its own artistic, but also political and social, content and dance, a driving force of choreographic development and reflection in Central Eastern Europe that measurably contributed to a permanent change of the dance reality in Poland. And its effects, through the dissemination of knowledge and further creative work of artists supported by the foundation, will still surely contribute to development of next generations of choreography researchers and makers.

curator Joanna Leśnierowska

Within 17 years, following the motto ART DOESN’T NEED SUPPORT, ARTISTS DO!, program supported Polish and international dance artists in their creations and individual artistic development. It successfully introduced to the Polish scene a whole new generation of ambitious and talented dance makers, mainly through the flagship residency/creation program for young artists – Solo Project (established in 2006, and from 2015 run in an expanded formula as Solo Project +). Foundation has also established numerous creation opportunities to many mid-career and established artists.

Therefore since 2004, almost 100 of original choreographic works have been created in collaboration and with production support from the Art Stations Foundation. Following one of the major goals of the foundation that was constant work towards maximum professionalization and raise of (not only artistic) quality of dance production in Poland, choreographers had been offered diverse research and production residencies and artistic mentoring assistance as well as financial grants and full promotional and technical help whilst in creation. The works created within Old Brewery New Dance have been regularly acknowledged and presented to international dance professionals within Polish Dance Platforms program and then touring extensively throughout Poland and Europe as well as to Both Americas, Middle East and Asia. The foundation engaged itself also in several co-production projects with other institutions in Poland (Nowy Theatre, Warsaw within “widening the field” program or “weaving bridges” with Lublin Dance Theatre and Szczecin Witryna Kultury foundation, a.o.) as well as in international partnerships, mainly conceived with support of foreign partners as well as Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warsaw. The major projects included: “Collective jumps” by Isabelle Schad (2014) and “Moving the mirror” by Peter Pleyer (2016) realized with Goethe Institute as well as “Happy” by Nigel Charnock (2008, with The Place, UK), “There might be others” by Rebecca Lazier (premiered in Poznan 2015, in NYLA, New York in 2016), The Yanka Rudzka Project (2 choreographic works: “Leavening” in 2016 in Salvador de Bahia, Brasil in collaboration of Vivadanca Festival; “Polyphonies” in 2018 in Poznan with artists from Armenia, Brasil, Georgia and Poland) and “Pole reports from space” with Brussels company ECCE (2019) – all in direct collaboration with Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw.


Since its very beginnings the foundation’s Studio Słodownia +3 served also as a major presentation dance venue in the country engaging itself throughout the whole year in bringing to local audiences the most interesting Polish and international (often for the first time in Poland) choreographic works and artists. The mission of the performance program, which through the years welcomed almost 200 performances, was to raise an awareness of the richness of dance phenomena nowadays. It was followed by a desire to stir a discussion on ever broadening definition of contemporary choreography that constantly claims its autonomous territory and, as Trisha Brown once said, situates itself in the crack between traditionally understood dance and visual arts.

Every season since 2006 the performance program found its climax with the festival program organized in the frame of the acclaimed International Malta Performing Arts Festival. Intensive 10 days of performances, workshops and festival peer to peer encounters celebrated the avant-garde and experimental forms of choreographic practices and thus extensively inspired artistic dialogue, ideas exchange and choreographic reflection. To support national dissemination and circulation of Polish choreographies, Art Stations Foundation became also the founding member of Polish Dance Network.


Next to production and presentation activities, with the crucial ASF aim of supporting choreographic development, many research and educational programs for young professionals have been established with a flagship Alternative Dance Academy project (ADA).

ADA was a regular annual training program for choreographers run from 2009 and built every year as a series of several 5-days intensive coaching sessions run by international artists and pedagogues. The program promoted practical knowledge exchange and underlined the importance of the dedicated research-through-practice time crucial for stimulating creativity of young artists. It promoted individual approaches towards art of dance making and encouraged young dance makers and makers-to-be in search for their own artistic language. It equipped participants with diverse choreographic tools from areas of various movement generation methodologies, compositional and improvisational strategies, dramaturgy, writing, light design, historical and theoretical reflection. It served also an important community-building and community-strengthening program bringing together artists from all over the country for an intense and focused but also often intimate exchange of experiences, often stirring further exciting artistic collaborations among the ADA’s participants.

With a strong dedication to production and dissemination of knowledge, and with a goal to examine its theory, history and present phenomena as well as reflecting on its relevance for the broader (local and global) society, since 2015 foundation granted annually an extensive research scholarship to support development of a discourse around the art of movement making. The program was dedicated both to choreography practitioners as well as to scholars and cultural activists. It allowed focused year-long studies with an obligatory assignment for public sharing of the research outcome. In 2021, a year marked by the pandemic, the foundation also issued 5 artistic scholarships for artists developing expanded (therefore possible also during pandemic lock downs) choreographic practice.


Moreover, in 2011 the Foundation introduced, first in Poland, a regular dance program for children (Dancing Families). It was composed of presentations of the best international performances and of unique dance experiences provided with regularly organized workshops for the whole family. It provided Polish artists with professional coaching in the craft of creating for the youngest audiences and offered new productions possibilities. Next to guest shows, there have been 3 original Polish experimental choreographic installations for kids and their caretakers produced and premiered in Studio Słodownia +3. To sum up 10 years of the program, the e-publication has been created collecting theoretical essays and practitioners’ discussions. It introduced for the first time in Poland the newest knowledge of the field and inspired reflection on the seminal relevance of dance for children for the future of both – the art and societies of tomorrow.

As an important part of its activities, Art Stations Foundation/Old Brewery New Dance has been always very active internationally. It was not only by promoting Polish dance and touring the choreographic works all over the world but foremost by establishing artistic and educational relationships with international partners such as European Dance House network that ASF co-founded in 2008 and within which run an European production program MODUL DANCE (2010-2014). Since 2008 ASF has been also partnering in the biggest European presenters’ network Aerowaves. ASF became also the Polish partner of Visegrad’s Artists in Residence – Performing Arts Program supporting residencies and creation by facilitating mobility of artists from the Visegrad Region (Czech, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland).
The big importance among partnerships of ASF holds the long history of collaboration with American organizations – Dance USA/Philadelphia and Movement Research, NYC. In the years 2012-2015, together with no longer existing Dance USA/Philadelphia run by Lois Welk, ASF has established an annual program aimed in building a platform of choreographic exchange between Polish and Philadelphia based dance communities with the special focus on the mission of supporting choreographic development and promoting an idea of shared choreographic practices as best way not only to share and generate knowledge and discourse around the art of choreography, but also – as efficient tool to bring closer comminutes, exchange artistic ideas and experiences and foster individual development of artists. Due to the great and constitutive for contemporary choreography relevance of post-modern dance tradition, the direct connection with the American dance community and exchange experiences has been of great value and contributed enormously to the development of the Polish young choreographic scene of the last decades. In 2016 ASF started a direct link with seminal organization Movement Research, NYC, and joined the Global Practice Sharing (GPS) network. Within its activities, the study visits for 2 Polish dance makers to New York City has been organized, enabling presentations at legendary Judson Church. The project was held with ongoing support of the National Music and Dance Institute in Warsaw.

To complete its mission of supporting the development of choreography and stimulating discourse around it, as part of its activities the foundation has also supported a number of authors writing about contemporary choreography and contributed, among other things, to the first Polish translation of Sally Banes’ iconic book “Terpsychora in Tenisówki” (translated by Jadwiga Grabowska-Majewska, Artur Grabowski).  In 2021, the foundation also offered special publishing scholarships for those publishing texts on dance and choreography. Preparing for the finale of its activity, already in 2018 Art Stations Foundation invited performing arts curator Marta Keil to create a series of 3 books dedicated to different dimensions of contemporary choreographic reflection and practice (its activism/political dimension, issues of its autonomy, and new definitions and strategies of creation). The latest volume, Choreography: Strategies, co-edited by Joanna Lesnierowska, was made available to Polish readers as an e-book on the last day of ASF’s activities. The foundation’s last publication was a richly illustrated catalog presenting the multilevel nature of the Old Brewery New Dance program, enriched with excerpts from archival press texts about the project and voices of artists associated with the program.

Last but not least, in the challenging times of the pandemic, as its last major activity, Art Stations Foundation has conceived The Grand re Union – a project designed originally as a performative conference (for June 2020) and eventually re-designed as an online platform of a full year (till June 2021).

It became an international and multigenerational gathering of practitioners, thinkers, writers, scholars and audiences and served as a final event and critical culmination of the Old Brewery New Dance program. It gave space, time and priority to examining, both in practice and through theoretical reflection and discussion, the possible ways to effectively oppose dominant powers with knowledge and tools that are generated through decades of choreographic reflection and creation. The Grand re Union addressed the overall question of the relevance of choreography in the present social and political time, and tried to determine the artists’ roles and responsibilities towards engaging in issues spanning our global society. It wished to diagnose areas where choreography and dance practices have developed expertise and tools that now could be reapplied in society – to empower ourselves in the moment of crisis and to be, work together and communicate without violence.

In urgent need of re-affirming hope that effective resistance and sustainable change of current world order is possible, convinced that through choreographic practices we could provide new ways of seeing, being and understanding the world and each other, and to point the way out of the troubled Present, The Grand re Union activities posed the big question: how can choreographic practices help to save the world? And thus provided a space of support and a source of consolation in the very difficult time of isolation when we could not gather and be close to each other the way we wished to and we had been used to before.


With its general interest in the art of choreography, favoring choreographic research and creative process over product, aiming to stir a discussion on ever broadening definition of choreography, OLD BREWERY NEW DANCE was creation and reflection space where conscious, open-minded, and adventurous dance audience served as equal partners for artists. The very unique spot on the map of Polish and European dance, a driving force of choreographic development and reflection in Central Eastern Europe that measurably contributed to a permanent change of the dance reality in Poland. And its effects, through the dissemination of knowledge and further creative work of artists supported by the foundation, will still surely contribute to development of next generations of choreography researchers and makers.

Grazyna Kulczyk’s support for contemporary choreography currently continues in Switzerland’s Engadin Valley with the ACZIUN SUSCH (acziun – movement in Romansh) program of choreographic reflection.  Here,  since 2019 research residencies at the Muzeum Susch have been offered inviting artists to  (self)reflection and artistic investigations.   The programme promotes practices of (also expanded) choreography that boldly annex the space between visual arts and traditional dance.