SYLWIA HANFF – THE THEATRE LIMEN

 

Theatre Limen was founded in 2002 by dancer and choreographer Sylwia Hanff, who is also a dance therapist and master of art in philosophy. The theatre was the result of her studies in search of autentic bodily presence and the essence of the phisical presence of the performer. She is one of the most wildly recognized Polish artists to perform butoh. Her theoretical backgroud is in Antonin Artaud’s theatre, the antropology of theatre and philosophy. She has also studied Western and Eastern techniques of body control: ballet, modern dance, contemporary dance, Hindu dance (both Bharathanatiam and Manipuri), Aztec and Affican dance, improvisation, mime, choreotheraphy and Noh theatre. The practice of meditation (Zen, Hatha and Kundalini Yoga, Tao and labyrinth meditation) always were and still are a crucial element of her training; they help her achive states of concentration that are both useful and visible on the stage.

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Dreams of an Ocean. A black and white space puncted by lights seems paradoxicaly to be a model of both purely biological and purely spiritual life. Rights from the start the spactator is awarethat he or she is witnessing a boundary situation, both in a phisical and emotional sense. The movements of the two performers are extremely slow, sometimes almost impereceptible, but they are precusely what allows the audience to concentrate on elements of our embodiment that we often easily overlook – the micro-movements of the head, hands, eyes, and lips. This is a production not about people, but ebout embodiment; the human figures on the stage are always exposed, always in nondescript costiumes; all in all, it is next to impossible to tell the women from men. They movedabout with the aid of some inner power which yhay seek in front of the audience just so that thay can surrender to it, melding into each other, creating strange bio-objects. The theatre is filled with a monotonous sound, the dripping water; the audience’s attenton and tension rises to the pitch of a ritual experience.

 

Jadwiga Majewska, The Body Revolving Stage. New Dance in New Poland. The Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, Warsaw 2011

 

SYLWIA HANFF - a pioneer and the most recognizable butoh dancers in Poland who has studied with the greatest masters.  She has an M.A. in philosophy, with a theoretical background in theatre anthropology. Sylvia is a choreographer, director, dance therapist, yoga teacher and cultural manager. She has also studied Western and Eastern, contemporary and ancient techniques of body control. The practice of meditation is a crucial element of her training. She was an actress in the Warsaw Mime Theatre, and worked with the National Theatre and National Opera. She is a curator of projects in the field of artistic and cultural education as well as socio-cultural projects, initiator and Artistic Director of Butohpolis. The Butoh International Art Festival. On stage for 25 years, so far she has performed in over 40 institutional and independent theater performances. Since 2002, she has been running the Limen Butoh Theater, where she has created over 20 solo and group performances as well as many etudes and improvisations. Her artistic work and method were described in the book by J. Majewska The Body Revolving Stage. New Dance in New Poland (Instytut Teatralny, 2011) and in the book by Magdalena Zamorska published in English, entitled Intense Bodily Presence: Practices of Polish Butō by Peter Lang GmbH, 2018). She was scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. For 20 years he has been running body and movement workshops. She collaborates with physical and experimental theaters. For 20 years, she has been cooperating internationally, organizing artistic events (presentations of performances and workshops by guests from abroad), and inviting foreign artists to participate in her projects.

 

SYLVIA HANFF CV
 
EDUCATION
·    Yoga Kundalini Teacher Training (Kundalini Research Institute certificate)
·    Instructors Course in Dance Improvisation, body symbolic and experimental dance theatre led by Dr Detlef Kappert (Dance and Movement Dynamics Institute, Essen, Germany)
·    Hatha yoga, Akademia Hatha-Jogi, Joga Centrum, workshops with teachers from the USA
·    Relaxing techniques training (University School of Physical Education, Warsaw)
·    Culture Manager Diploma, Culture Managers College, Market Research Centre and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, branch in Warsaw
·    Stefan Niedzialkowski Mime Studio at the Na Woli Theatre in Warsaw;
·    Dance classes in the Dance-Actors Studio (Ballet School in Warsaw) and at international contemporary dance workshops (Exit03- Butoh Dance Festival: Exchange Project&Symposium Schloss Broelin Germany, Mamu Butoh Festival in Gottingen Germany, Dance of the World in Warsaw, Polish Dance Theatre, Silesian Dance Theatre - International Conference of Contemporary Dance and Dance Art Festival, Small Forms of Dance Theatre Festival in Warsaw, International Meetings of Action Art in Warsaw, International Presentations of Modern Theatre Forms in Kalisz, Baltic Dance University, and others); workshops in modern and contemporary dance techniques (Marth Graham, Cunningam, Taylor, and others), classical ballet, improvisation, Hindu dance workshops (bharatha natiam i manipuri), African and Aztec dances workshop; theatre workshops, Noh Theatre, capoeira workshops, tai chi, choreotherapy (Contemporary Dance Biennial Poznan, Centre of Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle Warsaw, Dance Conference Bytom).
·    Butoh dance study-workshops: Ko Murobushi, Daisuke Yashimoto, Carlotta Ikeda, Atsushi Takenouchi, Tadashi Endo, Yuko Kawamoto, Kan Katsura, Fran Barbe.
·     Philosophy Institute, Warsaw University, M.A. (the subject of the thesis was the philosophical premises of the theatre of Antonin Artaud)
·    VI Liceum Ogólnoksztalce im. T. Reytana (High School) in Warsaw;
·    artistic gymnastics, Youth Palace in Warsaw.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:
·    I has been leading the LIMEN THEATRE  – butoh dance and body theatre since 2002, directing all the performances and choreographing most of them (Everything has the evening face, Un-done-being, Apoptosis, An Empty Space or Dreams of an Ocean, Ukiyo-Teika, Ukiyo-the floating world, Shironuri, Black Venus and many improvisations)
·    I was an actress of The Warsaw Mime Theatre c/o The State Jewish Theatre in the years 1997-2001 (The faces of Truth, dir. and chor. S. Niedzialkowski, At Night on the Old Market, dir. Sz. Szurmiej, chor.: Z. Starczynowski)
I performed in:
·    Dance of the Forest, butoh performance choreographed by Kan Katsura
·    National Theatre (Halka Spinoza, New Bloomusalem, November Night, Giacomo Joyce, A Midsummer Night's Dream, all dir. by J. Grzegorzewski)
·    National Opera (Simone Boccanegra, dir. Pierre Luigi Pier’Ali, The masked Ball, dir. W. Zawodzinski, Paradise Lost, dir. Weiss-Grzesinski, Don Giovanni, dir. Weiss-Grzesinski, King Roger, dir. M. Trelinski, The Haunted Manor, dir. M. Grabowski, Wozzek, dir. K. Warlikowski)
·    Na Woli Theatre –Stefan Niedzialkowski Mime Studio (Initiations III/Metamorphosis, dir. and chor. S. Niedzialkowski)
·    Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw (Marriage blanc, dir. G. Wisniewski)
·    Mimages Theatre (A journey and etudes Angels and a Tree)
·    Akt Theatre (Perperuna, street performance, The Hollow Land, dir. M. Kowalski)
·    King’s Fools Theatre (Away with God’s Judgement, dir. Jean-Claud Denoue)
·    Amok.Positive & Limen Theatre (Buddacity)
·    Pracovnia Maat & Limen (Testing the Life Awhile)

I has danced in performances produced during workshop sessions and international meetings: Towards the Orient, butoh dance performances, choreography by A. Takenouchi (Japan), Butoh performance choreographed by Fran Barbe (London) and a contemporary dance performance choreographed by Katy Juhasz (Budapest) at Ex...it’03 Butoh Dance Festival (butoh meets contemporary dance) in Germany.

I has worked as a creative dance teacher and led workshops: body expression workshops, body awareness, butoh dance, dance therapy, creative dance and mime, hatha and kundalini yoga, meditation dance  – for children, adolescents and adults, theatre groups, instructors and amateurs.

I cooperate with the Japanese butoh dancer Atsushi Takenouchi in the organisation of his workshops (in cooperation with the Educational-Cultural Centre ‘Lowicka’ in Warsaw). We have also realized the Lunatix project together.

I delivered the lecture, A Skinned Actor (philosophical theatre antrophology), qualified for the scientific conference, Human body – a universal sign at the Jagiellonian University, Kraków 2003, also a lecture on the theoretical session at the International Festival of Intuitive Art Fortalicje Zamosc 2003.