Witold Zapała – In Memoriam – an online concert

April 25th, 2021, 5 p.m. CEST

The concert Witold Zapała – In Memoriam is the Ensemble's tribute to Mazowsze's ballet manager for many years, Witold Zapała – a master of choreography, an artist, a dancer, and a remarkable instructor.


His dance interpretations amd choregraphic routines have had a huge infuence on the way Mazowsze today presents Polish stylized folklore. Zapała created over thirty choreographies for the Ensemble. The concert features the most famous ones, for example “Tańce góralskie” [“The Highland Dances”], “Tańce kaszubskie” [“Dances from Kaszuby”], “Tańce lubelskie” [“The Lublin Dances”], and “Lubuskie winobranie” [“The Lubusz Grape Harvest”], which perfectly portray the richness and variety of the Polish regions. There are also compositions with remarkable choreographic routines by Elwira Kamińska and Eugeniusz Papliński, as well as some new dance routines, including the mazur from Stanisław Moniuszko's opera “Halka”.


The concert will be streaming live on our YouTube channel, on April 25th, 2021, at 5 p.m. CEST.



Witold Zapała's close encounter with dance began at The Central Training Facility for Artistic Instructors in Skolimów. He studied under Leon Wójcikowski who persuaded Zapała to start the Ballet School in Warsaw, from which he graduated in 1957. This was when the remarkable dancer was noticed by Mazowsze's founders, and his professional artistic career was linked with the ensemble's. He was awarded for his solo performances, and he started to combine them with a passion for creating innovative choreographies and his love of folklore. His visions, topped with Mira Zimińska-Sygietyńska's stage experience, have forever enriched the ensemble's repertoire with dance routines that are presented by Mazowsze to this day.


Witold Zapała created several dozen choreographies for Mazowsze. Apart from that, he also created dance routines for the biggest theatres in Poland, i.e. The Great Theatre – National Opera and The Polish Theatre. He was famous for preparing choreographies for movies, operas, and theatrical performances.


He used his skills and stage experience in teaching – he artistically shaped several generations of dancers. He is known for a variety of activities for amateur children's ensembles, such as Gawęda and Varsovia. He instructed and prepared young dancers for participation in competitions and festivals organized all over the world.


He was an unusually demanding teacher. He eagerly shared his knowledge, but only with the best. He chose the most talented dancers for the Mazowsze ballet. He was admired and respected among artists.


Zapała was awarded and honored many times. His awards include, for example, the Gold Cross of Merit, the Order of Polonia Restituta Third Class (2015), and the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis (2015). In the National Contest Perły Tańca 2019, Witold Zapała was honored with the Leon Wójcikowski Award. It is presented for the entire artistic activity, with special merit for the art of dancing, including exceptional stage or choreographic creations.


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