Dancing Families

Dancing Families is a pioneering educational program in the field of experimental dance for families, with its roots in Poznań, Poland, that has already a fourteen years of history. The project is distinguished by its interactive form, approach to dance and choreography as an artistic as well as social experience, and the international character of the program. 

Why we do it?

The Dancing Families program is a clear gesture emphasizing the great importance of early artistic experiences which result in an open and critical attitude towards the world, creativity, increased respect for the diversity (intergenerational and bodily) of each individual, and the strengthening of family ties.

Placing body at the center of the Dancing Families program together we have been observing for years how it functions as a mediator of the imagination. What does the focus on physical and creative activity bring to the family? How does the participants’ relationship to themselves and those close to them change (expand) through conscious work with the body? How can “small” and “big” bodies dance together? What does playing on the floor together with a child bring? How can we move together and at the same time stay close to our own needs? What do our family choreographies look like? How do we listen to the body signals and let them guide us in our daily lives? 

The list of questions is long and still open, and the attempt to answer them is based on the conviction of the immense wealth available to each one of us in the form of: breath, contact with the earth, the intimate rhythm of organs and fluids, the body’s relationship with space and other bodies – in movement. By self-observation as well as observation of the family (and social) constellations we can experience reality in a more creative and sensitive way. Consciously being in the world helps us to maintain good health, builds efficient and satisfying relationships with those around us.

Some history

The program was established in 2011. For the first 10 years it functioned thanks to the support of the Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk where at the invitation of the curator of the performance program, Joanna Leśnierowska, it was initially supervised by Alicja Morawska-Rubczak, later by Sandra Lewandowska and finally by the current supervisor, Hanna Bylka-Kanecka (from 2018). In 2021, after ten years of existence, Dancing Families changed its headquarters. Filled with beautiful memories of joint activities, we said goodbye to the Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk and Stary Browar, a historic place on the map of Polish dance. In the same year, the program passed under the present administrative care of Performat Foundation and its president, Karolina Wycisk.

The 2020-2022 editions were held at the Polish Theater in Poznan, at the invitation of directors Maciej Nowak and Marcin Kowalski, and with the support of the City of Poznan. Since 2023, Dancing Families has been organized simultaneously in several locations in Poland. Thanks to the hospitality of directors Joanna Żygowska of the Children’s Art Center (Poznań), Joanna Nawrocka of the Ochota Theater (Warsaw) and the projects manager of the Urban Culture Institute, Natalia Cyrzan (Gdańsk), we can promote contemporary dance and choreography for families more widely in Poland. In 2024, for the first time, Dancing Families will take place at the Cracow Choreographic Center (Kraków) and the Municipal Public Library in Mieścisko.

If you are curious to read more about the program, we invite you to read the publication (also in english), that was released at the occasion of the 10th anniversary, in 2021.

Movement Dialogues

download publication

Future plans

In the future, we are planning to organise further editions in more cities and counties – because our dream is to make dance and choreography for families widely and universally accessible. We believe that open cultural institutions are great places for experimental and dialoguing activities, which without you, dear participants, have no chance to exist.

If you represent an institution or organization which might be interested in hosting Dancing Families in its environment – let us know, we are happy to share our experience also internationally, acknowledging the diverse local specificities!

We hope that you will let your families be invited to dance – after all, you are the most important people on the map of our endeavors, for whom we have been designing our program with commitment and sensitivity for years. 

We look forward to seeing you at the intergenerational workshops, dancing together and discovering amazing relationships with the world around us.

See you in motion,
Hanna Bylka-Kanecka, curator of the Dancing Families program 
and Karolina Wycisk, creative producer of the Dancing Families program