Celebrate Poland’s culture at Edinburgh Festival

The Adam Mickiewicz Institute returns to the UK to take part in the Cultural Olympiad.

In a hugely exciting and ambitious move, the Institute will work with British partners to bring the very best of Poland’s artistic offerings -in theatre, visual arts, jazz, dance and film – to the biggest arts gathering in the world – Edinburgh’s Festivals.

The Programme strands across the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Art Festival, Jazz and Blues Festival and Edinburgh International Festival.

A festival of the conventional and the contemporary, the unusual and the innovative, The Adam Mickiewicz Institute will also programme a series of lectures and discussions at Summerhall as part of their educational strand. This quirky venue, a former veterinary school, is also the perfect setting for a wider series of alternative theatrical events, films, visual arts and live music.

The world-famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe will host two of Poland’s most innovative alternative theatre companies at the atmospheric Old College Quad as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad: Fringe First winners Teatr Biuro Podróży, who’s staging of Macbeth: Who is That Bloodied Man? Involves motorbikes and fire; and Kraków’s celebrated street theatre company KTO Theatre, who present The Blind, inspired by the Portuguese Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago, and his best-selling novel Blindness.

Contemporary Polish dance will be performed at Dance Base, featuring Poland’s emerging exponents of the art form, Aleksandra Borys and Leszek Bzdyl, one of the most important Polish dancers and choreographers.

Think of a Polish classical composer, and Poland’s favourite son Freyderyk Chopin most likely springs to mind. Explore further, however and you’ll discover the underrated joy of the orchestral works of Karol Szymanowski. As part of the Edinburgh International Festival, the London Symphony Orchestra will perform all four of his sumptuous and best-known symphonies, guided by conductors Valery Giergiev and Franz Welser-Möst and will host a talk about his work.

The Cleveland Orchestra will play the music of another Polish artist, the modernist, Witold Lutosławski.

Dispelling the myth that Polish jazz begins and ends with the music of legends Leszek Możdżer or Tomasz Stańko, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute presents an intriguing strand of Polish culture as part of this year’s Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, where the refined and traditional sits in stark contrast with the improvised and genre-pushing.

Scotland has always attracted international artistic talent to its shores and Here/Now, which will showcase at Edinburgh’s prestigious Royal Scottish Academy looks at the impact of crossing cultural borders on some of its brightest young talent studying in the country’s finest arts institutions as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival.

In a major coup for the festival, Robert Kuśmirowski, creates his latest site-specific instillation, Pain Thing at Summerhall, giving visitors to the festival their first chance to see his work in the UK since Bunker at the Barbican formed part of 2011’s acclaimed Polska! year.

For further information about the Edinburgh Festivals, please visit and

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