NYC Director-Choreographer Stas Kmiec Presents Jan Kiepura Musical Theater Award in Poland
New York City director-choreographer Stas Kmiec presented the award for "Best Choreographer" at the annual Jan Kiepura Musical Theater Awards, which took place in Warsaw on May 16. Statuettes were handed out to musical theater artists in 12 categories.
For the seventh time, award statuettes were handed out to musical theater artists in 12 categories including: best musical, singers, dancers, director and conductor, and stage designers, among others. The winner in the category of "best choreographer" was Artur ?yme?ka of the Music Theatre in ?ódz for the production of Leonard Bernstein's American musical "Wonderful Town."
The "First Lady of Polish Song" Irena Santor presented the award for "Best Female Vocalist," which went to Anna Sroka-Hry? for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in "Édith i Marlene." Sroka-Hry? later mesmerized the audience with a selection of Piaf songs.
"Best Set/Costume Design" went to the legendary Barbara Ptak who has worked on stage and in film with such directors as Andrzej Wajda; four films, for which she designed the costumes, have been nominated for an Oscar.
The award for "Best Musical" to was given to "Korczak," written by Nick Stimson and Chris Williams, which was presented by the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic. Mariusz Kwiecie?, who is an artist of The Metropolitan Opera won in the "Best Male Vocalist" category for his work at the Opera Krakowska.
The lifetime achievement award was given to choreographer and dancer Krystyna Mazurówna. The 74-year old Mazurówna in accepting the award said "my career is not over, I still have much to create." A former soloist with the Grand Theatre in Warsaw, she now makes Paris her home.
Kmie? will be instrumental in creating opportunities for Actors' Equity members in Poland, such as guest artist performances, and exchange programs.
It is the plan of the W?odzimierz Izban, General and Artistic Director of the Mazowiecki Music Theatre - who created the Awards, to have Kmie? return in 2014 to choreograph and to establish the first training program of Broadway Musical Theater in Poland. The month-long symposium would encompass the classic American dance styles of Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, Jack Cole, and Agnes DeMille, among others, vocal technique, acting and history. The goal is to enable Polish talent to become the triple threat of actor-singer-dancer - a trait found in Broadway performers.
"Along with new and original work, there has been a recent trend of presenting American musicals in Poland," said Kmie?. "Having witnessed the talents of Polish artists through the performances of the musical "Metro" on Broadway, national companies, theater, opera, and ballet companies, I am excited to bring our Broadway style to Poland."
As an AEA Chorus Councilor, Kmie? met with noted film and stage actor Olgierd ?ukasiewicz - the President of the Union of Polish Actors - ZZAP, which was formed in 1999 and joined the International Federation of Actors (FIA) in 2004. They discussed union issues.