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...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ballet, Film and Theater in August

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, "The Labyrinth."

On Friday, August 6, 2010, at 8:30 p.m., at the 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, as part of its spectacle TAKING FLIGHT

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

Artistic director Judith Flex Helle explains that the ballet features a number of choreographers, “from Broadway to So You Think You Can Dance to Cirque du Soleil.” Mr. Wenta’s ballet celebrating Chopin’s anniversary is included among this rich variety of dance forms. For tickets and more information visit the www.luminarioballet.org


Stefan Wenta was a principal dancer and choreographer of the Warsaw Opera Ballet where he performed in such ballets as Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake and Coppelia. After receiving a scholarship to study in Paris, along with other Polish notables such as Roman Polanski, Zbigniew Cybulski and Andrzej Komeda, Stefan became the partner of the Paris Opera’s prima-ballerinas Yvette Chauvire and Lycette Darsonval. As the premier dancer of the Theatre d’Art du Ballet he performed 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 the Wenta Ballet of Los Angeles. He choreographed numerous ballets and a number of films such as Logan’s Run, Our Man Flint, Fantastic Voyage and Warren Beatty’s Reds. Currently he is teaching at the MIMODA studio in Hollywood while finishing his novel, to be published in late spring of 2011.

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A week later, on Friday, August 13, 2010, at 7:55 p.m. a short documentary, THE LABYRINTH, will have its premiere at the Arclight Cinema-Hollywood (6360 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028-7323, 323-464-4226), followed by a VIP Reception co-hosted by our Club, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles and ARRI Camera Inc. Please do not be late; there is no late seating!

The film is a part of the International Documentary Association’s DocuWeeks 2010 Theatrical Showcase, which is an Oscar qualifying event. Additional screenings of The Labyrinth will take place during the week of August 13-19, in a set of three documentaries, including also Mozambique and Keep Dancing. Tickets for the premiere may be purchased at: www.newamericanvision.com/docuweeks/shorts.html.

The Labyrinth is an immersion into the artwork and testimony of Auschwitz survivor, Marian Kołodziej, a Polish-Catholic, who was sent to the camp on the first day it opened. This is a moving and touching film about resilience and hope in the midst of unbelievable suffering. This unique film focuses on Mr. Kołodziej’s extensive graphic pen and ink drawings and his testimony about his experiences in the death camp. After his liberation, Mr. Kołodziej went on to become a noted set and costume designer in theater and film.

Filmed on location at the St. Maximilian Kolbe Franciscan Center, near Auschwitz, Poland, the film features Roman Czarny as the voice of Marian Kołodziej. The original score was composed by Marek Żebrowski. The director/producer is Jason A. Schmidt, and producer, Ron Schmidt, S.J. The filmmakers will be on hand after the screening for questions and answers. For more information see: www.thelabyrinthdocumentary.com

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In addition, we will have an opportunity of attending
a solo theater performance by Ewa Boryczko, "Modjeska: The Artist's Dream!" at the Camino Real Playhouse in San Juan Capistrano (31776 El Camino Real). The world premiere is scheduled on August 13-14 at 8 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets visit the project's website. www.helenamodjeska.com/index.html

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