The Wedding at Ojców / Harnasie

A production of Cracovia Danza shown as part of the 10th Days of Dance


Staging and choreography: Leszek Rembowski
Music: Karol Kurpiński, Józef Damse
Costumes: Zofia De Ines
Stage design: Zofia De Ines, Tomasz Chlanda
World premiere: 24 October 2015, Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice


Staging and choreography: Leszek Rembowski
Music: Karol Szymanowski
Costumes: Jan Polewka
Stage design: Jan Burnat
World premiere: 9 December 2017, National Museum in Kraków

Set to the music of Karol Kurpiński and Józef Damse, The Wedding at Ojców is referred to as the first Polish national ballet. The Cracovia Danza Court Ballet revived the work after several decades of oblivion. Rendered in dance, the story of a wedding at Ojców, a village near Kraków, was first performed at the National Theatre in Warsaw in 1823, becoming a manifestation of Polish national identity. The Cracovia Danza’s production showcases the grand mazurs, cracoviennes, polkas and marches in their original glory as Leszek Rembowski’s choreographies are based on archival records of Polish dances. As for the accompaniment, we will hear ballet music performed by The Violin Consort led by Zbigniew Pilch (from recordings), complete with Jewish tunes and traditional wedding airs performed by Magdalena Wieczorek-Duchewicz in white voice, an archaic singing technique.

Harnasie, a ballet-pantomime by Karol Szymanowski, was not only the first Polish stage piece entirely immersed in the culture of the Podhale region; it was also the first to perfectly combine elements of folk music with a composer’s individual style. The direct inspiration for the ballet was the wedding of a local girl of the Highlands, Helena Gąsienica-Roj to Jerzy Rytard. The piece was completed in 1931 and given its debut four years later in Prague. Yet, it was only its Paris premiere in 1936 that started the ballet’s triumphant march around Polish and foreign ballet stages. The choreography is guided by Szymanowski’s music and fuses elements classical, contemporary, folk, and highland dance.


  • Patron of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera

  • Partners of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera

  • Logo Perlage
  • Logo Sisley
  • Logo Albert Riele