Joanna Leśnierowska


choreography curator / visual dramaturge / performance maker / light & space composer

Graduating from theatre science at Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Joanna used to write as a first in Poland regular dance writer for seminal “Didaskalia” magazine. She has published on Polish dance in “Theater der Zeit” (Berlin), “Dance Today” (Israel), and “Dance Zone” (Prague) and lectured on choreography history and theory in universities of Poznań and Cracow.

In 2004 she has created first in Poland regular dance space/choreographic development center within Art Stations Foundation in Poznań (Old Brewery New Dance) where she was introducing avant-garde choreography to local audience and  intensively supported (with production and educational programs) development of Polish dance artists. 

In years 2019 – 2023 Joanna run also performance program of choreographic refelction and research ACZIUN as part of Muzeum Susch, an art institution located in Swiss Alps.

From 2022 Joanna works as free-lance curator and artist. Under the label LEŚNIEROWSKA SFX she collaborates with several international art institutions and projects.

It is since 2003 when, parallel to her work as curator and writer, Joanna has been developing an independent practice as visual dramaturge, choreographer and light & space composer – for her own works and works of other Polish and international artists.

In 2003-2009 she co-created Towarzystwo Gimnastyczne/Gymnastic Society (performance collective and association) within which she conceived and performed 3 full evening works: “whatever you wish” (2003) “Foreignlanguages-ness” (2005) and “NOTHING” (2007), touring them then in Poland and Europe. As an artistic partner she co-operates with several Polish and international choreographers such as: Arkadi Zaides/IL (“quiet”, “Landscape Research”), Lia Haraki/CY (“again”), Márta Ladjánszki/HU (“Josha”, solo for Leśnierowska), Jurij Konjar/SLO (“For Juliano MerKhamis”), Adi Weinberg/ISR (“If the Bull Won’t Come”), Weronika Pelczyńska / PL(“Kuliści”) a.o., and on regular basic maintains artistic dialogue with Janusz Orlik/PL (“Live on stage”, “Rite of Spring”, “Insight”, KODA) and Renata Piotrowska-Auffret/PL (“Unknown.seans”, “Danse Macabre”, “As long as we dance”) and cranky bodies a/company (Berlin). Recent collaborations include Isabelle Schad (“Persona with Voice”) and Maria Zimpel (“Love Project”).

In 2011 Joanna did her official debut as a full-term author with her “Reconstruction”. In 2013 she co-created a solo with and for Janusz Orlik “Insight”. It was awarded for Best Choreography of Polish Dance Platform 2014 in Lublin and toured extensively in Europe, Brazil, Palestine, Israel a.o. Following her ongoing interest in visual arts and with a mission to widen  the crack between visual arts and choreography, in 2014 she premiered her trio “…(rooms by the sea). From the series Exercises in Looking” inspired by everything that hopperesque in contemporary visual culture. In 2016 she conceived an exchange project between Polish and Salvador (Brasil) dance communities bringing together dancers/choreographers into creative dialogue fueled by the traditional culture/dances of both countries and premiering at International Dance Festival VIVADANÇA in Salvador. The project has found its continuation in 2018 in Caucasus and finalized in the creation of “Wielogłos” (POLYPHONIES) – a choreography in dialogue of Armenian, Brazilian, Georgian and Polish artists. In 2017 Joanna created a solo “blur” – evening-length work stemming from Gerhard Richter painting and revolving around issues of instability, overdose of data and constant loss of clear points of reference. 

In 2019, a solo “KODA. A Tribute” (created with and performed by Janusz Orlik) has celebrated 15 years of Joanna’s work in Poznan and 15 years of exciting artistic dialogue of the two artists.  

Pandemic of 2020 has changed the pace  of work on the new trio “Joanna and the heroes” which since then still evolves and looks for its final form. Ongoing research for this piece is documented on Instagram #cosiestalotosienieodstanie 

Recently Joanna joined the curatorial team of Art Safiental 2024 and became an artistic collaborator of the research project Performance: Conservation Materiality Knowledge at Hochschule der Kunst in Bern. As part of this commission in 2024 she will pass the choreography of “rooms by the sea”  (and reactivate the performance) on a company of Cracow Choreographic Center. (premiere in August 2024).

Since October 2023 Joanna collaborates also with Warsaw Observatory of Culture serving as an expert in a process of establishing first in Warsaw dance space/ city institution (to be opened in 2026). Her latest artistic project inaugurated in January 2024 will lead to video installation and performance created with seminal Brazilian choreographer Lia Roberto and Neemias Santana (premiere expected in 2025).   

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