Dedicated to news and information about the activities of the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club in Los Angeles. Since 1971, we have been promoting Polish art and culture in California through events, lectures, exhibitions, film screenings, concerts, book readings, and more...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Club Events in August - Ballet and Film


It is such a hot and busy summer! The Modjeska Club will gather for two events this month:
  • on August 6 for the premiere of Stefan Wenta's ballet based on Chopin's music and

  • on August 13 for the premiere of a documentary about Marian Kolodziej, an Auschwitz survivor, "Labyrinth" by Father Ron Schmidt, SJ.




* * *

On Friday, August 6, 2010, at 8:30 p.m., at Ford Amphitheater, Hollywood (the private event starts at 7:00 p.m.), in honor of Chopin's 200th birthday celebration, the LUMINARIO BALLET OF LOS ANGELES presents the premiere of a ballet by STEFAN WENTA

FANTASY ON POLISH AIRS

The performance takes place
at the FORD AMPHITHEATER
on 2580 Cahuenga Bld. East
Hollywood 90068

There will by a specially reduced price for members of the Modjeska Art and Culture Club. The code for obtaining the 20$ ticket (instead of $30) will be available to our members and friends in our official email/mail invitation. Ford Amphitheater Box Office phone number is: 323-GO-1-FORD (323-461-3673).

STEFAN WENTA was a principal dancer and choreographer of the Warsaw Opera Ballet where he danced roles in Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, Coppelia, etc. After receiving a scholarship (together with Roman Polanski, Zbigniniew Cybulski, and Andrzej Komeda) to study in Paris, he became the partner of the Paris Opera's prima-ballerinas Yvette Chauvire and Lycette Darsonval. He also was the premier dancer of the Theatre d'Art du Ballet, with which he gave guest performances in India, Indonesia, China, Africa and all over Europe.

In 1960 he came to America where he became the Artistic Director of the Western Ballet of Los Angeles, and, later on, the Wenta Ballet of Los Angeles. He choreographed many ballets, and also did the choreography for numerous films like Logan's Run, Our Man Flint, Fantastic Voyage and Warren Beatty's Reds. He presently teaches classes at the MIMODA studio in Hollywood while finishing his novel to be published in late spring of 2011.

Look for posters of Modjeska for the event's location!

* * *

On Friday, August 13th, 2010, at 7:30 p.m., Modjeska Club members and friends will be able to attend the premiere of

THE LABYRINTH

This short documentary, 37 minutes in length, has been selected for the International Documentary Association's 14th Annual DocuWeeks 2010 Theatrical Showcase. Modjeska Club members and guests are invited to attend the official premiere on Friday, August 13, at 7:30 p.m.,followed by a QA with the filmmakers and by a reception at 10:00 p.m.

THE LABYRINTH
Arclight-Hollywood Cinema
6360 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028-7323
(323) 464-4226

Tickets can be purchased online and more information is on the ArcLight website. Other screenings will be at the Arclight-Hollywood from Aug. 13-19.

According to the film director, Jesuit priest, Father Ron Schmidt, The Labyrinth is the chronicle of one Polish artist's journey from repentance to resurrection. He wrote: "Art and hell collide as Auschwitz survivor Marian Kolodziej finally confronts the horrors of his past after 50 years of silence. Kolodziej was on one of the first transports to enter Auschwitz. He survived five years imprisonment and never spoke of his experience until after a serious stroke in 1993. He began rehabilitation by doing pen and ink drawings depicting his horrific experience."

"Marian’s drawings and art installations, which he called The Labyrinth, fill the large basement of a church near Auschwitz. Through the blending of his testimony and graphic drawings, we explore the memories and nightmares that were buried for years. Why would a confrontation with death trigger the need to record his long-suppressed memories? And why in this graphic, metaphorical way? Marian was in the same roll call group with St. Maximilian Kolbe and Marian made many drawings of Fr. Kolbe."

"After the war, Mr. Kolodziej became a noted set and costume designer for the theater and film, in his native Poland. When Pope John Paul II returned to Poland, Mr. Kolodziej designed the outdoor altars for the Pope's Masses."

* * *

Modjeska Club Calendar of Events for Fall 2010

  • September 11, 6:30 p.m.: The Controversial Ryszard Kapuscinski, screening of a documentary on Polish journalist and writer, with his biographer's comments. Ruskin Art Club, Los Angeles.

  • October 10, 6:00 p.m.: An Evening of Song - with Marta Wryk, Soprano, and Adam Kosmieja, Piano (both from New York), at the South Pasadena Library Community Room, South Pasadena. Program includes songs and piano music by Dvorak and Chopin.

  • October 26, TBA: Polish Jazz at the Jazz Bakery with Jan Jarczyk from Montreal, Darek Oleszkiewicz, and other musicians (co-sponsored by Modjeska Club).

  • November 20, TBA: Kabaret Starszych Panow performed by our friends, Polish Club from Riverside.

  • December 11, 6:00 p.m.: Christmas Party (Modjeska Club Members Only Event).

  • January 22, 2011, 6:00 p.m.: Travel to Tibet by Maria and Edward Pilatowicz, screening of film and discussion at South Pasadena Public Library Community Auditorium.

  • February 2011, TBA: War Memoirs with writers John Z. Guzlowski and Frank Zajaczkowski, and Terry Tegnazian, publisher of Aquila Polonica.

  • March 2011, TBA: Mickiewicz in Translation with Prof. Roman Koropeckyj, UCLA, Mickiewicz scholar, and Prof. Leonard Kress, Owens College, Mickiewicz's translator; including film fragments.

    * * *

    Events of Our Friends

  • August 9, 5:30 p.m.: Japan: Land of Geishas, Rising Sun, and Sumo Wrestlers at Cedars Sinai Alumni Association, Program by Wanda Presburger, $15, Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Henry Morse Auditorium, Plaza Level, Los Angeles.

  • August 13-14: Modjeska! The Artists Dream - Play about Helena Modjeska, performed by Ewa Boryczko, Camino Real Playhouse, San Juan Capistrano, CA www.helenamodjeska.com.

  • September 12, 3:00 p.m.: Chopin with Cherries - Poetry Reading from an anthology edited by Maja Trochimczyk, with 14 American poets and Prof. Rick Wilson playing Chopin on the flute, Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, Venice, CA.

  • October 15-21, TBA: Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles - exact program will be posted on the Festival's website.
  • Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    What's new in the 2010-2011 season?

    On June 26, 2010, members of Helena Modjeska Polish Arts and Culture Club in Los Angeles gathered to elect the new President and Board of Directors for the 2010-2012 term. I am delighted to say that I was unanimously awarded the honor of leading the Club for the next two years.

    The 2010-2012 Board of Directors of the Modjeska Club includes:
      Officers:
    • Maja Trochimczyk, President
    • Krystyna Kuszta, Vice President
    • Danuta Zuchowska, Treasurer
    • Krystyna Bartkowska, Secretary

      Members:
    • Andrew Z. Dowen
    • Krystyna Okuniewski
    • Boguslaw Plewnia
    • Wanda Presburger

    What are our plans? We have been talking about possible programs, with an abundance of opportunities and options. We encourage all Modjeska Club members and friends to post comments, send suggestions, and in other ways interact with the new Board of Directors, to ensure that the coming years are filled with interesting, uplifting, inspiring, educational, and entertaining programs and events.

    Our first event is coming up soon: Mark your calendars for Friday, August 6, 2010, 8:30 p.m., Ford Theater, Hollywood (the private event starts at 7:00 p.m.):

    In honor of Chopin's 200th birthday celebration

    LUMINARIO BALLET OF LOS ANGELES

    presents

    the premiere of a ballet by STEFAN WENTA

    FANTASY ON POLISH AIRS


    The performance takes place
    on August 6th, 2010 at 8:30PM
    at the FORD AMPHITHEATER
    on 2580 Cahuenga Bld. East
    Hollywood 90068

    There will by a specially reduced price for members of the Modjeska Art and Culture Club. The code for obtaining the 20$ ticket (instead of $30) will be available to our members and friends in our official email/mail invitation. Ford Amphitheater Box Office phone number is: 323-GO-1-FORD (323-461-3673).

    STEFAN WENTA was a principal dancer and choreographer of the Warsaw Opera Ballet where he danced roles in Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, Coppelia, etc. After receiving a scholarship (together with Roman Polanski, Zbigniniew Cybulski, and Andrzej Komeda) to study in Paris, he became the partner of the Paris Opera's prima-ballerinas Yvette Chauvire and Lycette Darsonval. He also was the premier dancer of the Theatre d'Art du Ballet, with which he gave guest performances in India, Indonesia, China, Africa and all over Europe.

    In 1960 he came to America where he became the Artistic Director of the Western Ballet of Los Angeles, and, later on, the Wenta Ballet of Los Angeles. He choreographed many ballets, and also did the choreography for numerous films like Logan's Run, Our Man Flint, Fantastic Voyage and Warren Beatty's Reds. He presently teaches classes at the MIMODA studio in Hollywood while finishing his novel to be published in late spring of 2011.


    * * *

    What other events are in the works?

    Fall 2010 Calendar of Modjeska Club Events in Los Angeles


  • August 16-19: "Labyrinth" documentary about an Auschwitz prisoner and artist, Mr. Kolodziej, by Father Ron Schmidt, SJ, at ArcLight Theaters in Hollywood, exact times TBA (co-sponsored by Modjeska Club)

  • September 11, 6:30 p.m.: "Mickiewicz in Translation" with Prof. Roman Koropeckyj, UCLA, Mickiewicz scholar, and Prof. Leonard Kress, Owens College, Mickiewicz's translator; including film fragments. Ruskin Art Club, Los Angeles

  • October 10, 6:00 p.m.: "An Evening of Polish Song" - with Marta Wryk, Soprano, at the South Pasadena Library Community Room, South Pasadena

  • October 26, TBA: "Polish Jazz at the Jazz Bakery" with Jan Jarczyk from Montreal, Darek Oleszkiewicz, and other musicians (co-sponsored by Modjeska Club)

  • November 20, TBA: "Kabaret Starszych Panow" performed by our friends, Polish Club from Riverside

  • December 11, 6:00 p.m.: "Christmas Party" (Modjeska Club Members Only Event)

  • January 22, 2011, 6:00 p.m.: "Travel to Tibet" by Maria and Edward Pilatowicz, screening of film and discussion at South Pasadena Public Library Community Auditorium

  • February 2011, TBA: "War Memoirs" with writers John Z. Guzlowski and Frank Zajaczkowski, and Terry Tegnazian, publisher of Aquila Polonica, South Pasadena Public Library Community Room

    * * *

    We also note the efforts of our friends, promoting Polish culture in California:

  • August 9, 5:30 p.m.: "Japan: Land of Geishas, Rising Sun, and Sumo Wrestlers" at Cedars Sinai Alumni Association, Program by Wanda Presburger, $15, Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Henry Morse Auditorium, Plaza Level, Los Angeles.

    August 13-14: "Modjeska! The Artists Dream" - Play about Helena Modjeska, performed by Ewa Boryczko, Camino Real Playhouse, San Juan Capistrano, CA www.helenamodjeska.com

  • September 12, 3:00 p.m.: "Chopin with Cherries" - Poetry Reading from an anthology edited by Maja Trochimczyk, with 14 American poets and Prof. Rick Wilson playing Chopin on the flute, Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, Venice, CA

  • October 15-21, TBA: "Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles" - exact program on the Festival's website.

    * * *

    There are other projects and ideas that we are discussing, hearing about and sharing. We want to visit Modjeska's Arden in Orange County, her home in Laguna Niguel, and Ganna Walska's Lotusland. We want to go hiking and see historic homes in Los Angeles area and Southern California.

    We want to meet at public spaces and private mansions, but most of all, we want to share our love of Polish art and culture!

    Do you like our plans? Do you have something else in mind? For all suggestions please contact me at prezes@modjeska.org.

    Maja Trochimczyk