Battery Dance Company worked and performed here in 2000.
Learn From Past Experiences
Battery Dance Companies visit to Warsaw in 2000 was a success thanks to past experience.
The company had performed in the same Region during 1996 and received no publicity. This time, the company used their media representative to ensure that this would not happen again.
When Battery Dance Company traveled to Warsaw as part of their Poland tour in 2000. After a performance disaster in Warsaw that had happened several years prior- BDC decided to take all the necessarily precautions on this trip.
BDC had arranged to give two performances at the Teatr Maly, our Warsaw host in 1996 -- a ticketed show for the general public, and the a free concert for children. Six weeks prior to the tour, the Teatr Maly received a directive to close on the weekend that we were engaged to perform. (The Corpus Christi religious holiday and the end of the school year coincided and many people were given leave at this time.) Also, the Maly was faced with a 40% rent hike and the future of the theater was in jeopardy. The Maly’s Director, was able to broker an arrangement with the Teatr na Woli to produce Battery’s shows instead. Subsequently, BDC was unable to find anyone to take charge of inviting youth centers and orphanages to participate in the children’s show – so that plan was cancelled. (Elzbieta Grygiel of the Stefan Batory Foundation had originally offered to help – but in actuality, was “too busy”.) Upon arriving at the theater, 3 days prior to the performance, we discovered that there was no BDC signage in the display cases outside the theater and that only two tickets had been sold. We had already learned that the Boris Eifman St. Petersburg Ballet and the Warsaw Jazz Festival would be playing back to back with us, and to make matters worse, many citizens of Warsaw had taken advantage of the holiday on Thursday to take a long weekend. The Theater Manager and Public Relations Director of the Teatr na Woli met with us a few hours after our arrival from New York. In a harrowing three-hour session, their attitude was so hostile and defensive (despite the presence of Malgorzata Koszelew, Cultural Program Officer from the U.S. Embassy; and Pawel Pniewski, our Polish Technical and Logistical Director) that we had serious doubts as to whether the performance could go forward. Indicative of their attitude, the Theater was unwilling to rent a concert quality piano despite conditions they had agreed upon specified in our tech rider. Malgorzata offered the possibility of borrowing the piano from the U.S. Ambassador’s residence, boosting our morale and chances of a successful performance. The technical crew of the theater couldn’t have been more accommodating, generous and welcoming in contrast to the administration. \
SO… We asked our media rep, Justyna Golinska, to redouble her efforts in contacting the press. Her work resulted in prominent photo placements in the main newspapers, and an audience of 175 (with the theater closed down to its chamber size, this constituted a full house.) The Company danced beautifully and we received the unexpected compliments of the Theater Manager at the end, which we accepted with alacrity.