Arts Council of Wales | Case Study: Karol Cysewski

Case Study: Karol Cysewski

‘Homo Irrationabilis’ – Karol Cysewski. A Production Strand for Creative Professionals case study.

Why the grant was made

Karol Cysewski wanted to build on his previous work and his research and development periods which have informed his creative practice. He was ready to make his first full length work.

This project promised to stretch Karol’s ability in several different directions; not only his choreographic development, but also developing skills in sound, camera operation, lighting and projection.

His vision for this project was to make work that is stimulating and thought provoking. He aimed to achieve this by making work that is funny and sad, beautiful and ugly, clever and stupid, layered and simple.

What happened?

During this project a new full length work for 3 male dancers, Homo Irrationalis, was created.

The project involved a development phase that took place in May 2015. The production and touring subsequently took place in August and September.

Homo Irrationalis premiered at Chapter, Cardiff with two performances in September. It then toured to Theatr Harlech, Riverfront Newport and Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

Karol felt that audience numbers were good in each venue particularly given this was his first full length work. To him, this confirms that there is a demand for this type of work which is funny and accessible whilst at the same time interesting and challenging.

As well as the dance performance, the work itself included live video projection and an original sound score by Sion Orgon.

Karol enlisted the services of project manager Laura Drane as a creative partner, who assisted with the touring venues, and aspects such as marketing. He found this assistance invaluable – allowing him to concentrate on his practice and the production itself.

How did the artist benefit?

As his first full length piece this project has been a big step in the development of Karol’s career.

Karol has developed his choreographic process, style and skills by gaining valuable experience of making a full length piece of work.

During this project Karol built important relationships with venues, audiences, press and the wider sector that will support his choreographic work in the longer term. The good responses that he has had from audiences and reviewers have also been a great boost.

Homo Irrationalis now has potential for future touring and showcasing and he has developed relationships with venues and organisations which will support his future work.

Karol feels it was a very big achievement for him personally to have created his first live full-evening performance and to have successfully managed a small tour around Wales.

He felt he had created a work of high quality that engages and excites audiences, which was ultimately his aim and ambition.

Were there any challenges?

One challenge he faced was the generally low fees from venues and only being able to book "one night stands" at venues. This made it very hard work to get the audiences in each venue, without the possibility for audiences attracted by word of mouth, recommendations etc.

What Next for Karol?

As a direct result of the success of Homo Irrationalis Karol has been offered a Dance Buddy position with National Dance Company Wales , this is a new and unexpected development and will be a big help in further development of his work and career.

Together with Laura Drane, Karol is now looking at future possibilities for Homo Irrationalis including national touring and of taking part in the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017.

Case Study: Karol Cysewski

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