Room 40, a haunting dance work by alumnus Maciej Kuźmiński won the Audience Award at the Polish Dance Platform in Lublin in November 2014. A bi-annual event, the Platform aims to seek out and promote the most interesting original professional dance productions made in Poland or by Polish choreographers. Room 40 was one of 13 dance works shown, selected out of 95 entries.
Room 40 was first performed at Trinity Laban in June 2012, through a collaboration between then Masters student, Maciej, and Trinity Laban’s senior graphic designer, Adam Hypki, who did dramaturgy and stage design
The work tries to translate existential reflection into choreography. Using the state of tiredness, Maciej explores the four dancers’ struggles with physical and emotional exhaustion, in a provocative and moving way, in a performance which undermines established theatrical conventions.
Maciej says: “Adam said that he’d like to do “something” inspired by Richard Strauss’ 4 Last Songs, and what followed was a challenging but fruitful collaboration between a dramaturge and a choreographer.
Adam adds: “4 Last Songs is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. It’s about our everyday struggle with life and the inevitability of death - leaving and loss. It’s linear and not really written for dance, so I thought it would be an interesting challenge for a choreographer.
“Maciej’s floor-based work piece is also linear, and pushes against gravity, and it’s incredible how both things – dance and music – met in this collaboration to form Room 40.”
Trinity Laban’s Masters’ degree in Choreography enables students to develop their own distinctive choreographic voice, and is the perfect breeding ground for innovative new choreographers who take the initiative.
Maciej says: “I tell everyone that it all started for me at Trinity Laban, which provided something truly unique - a foundation and eagerness for further development.”
Picture credit – Ludovic Des Cognets