This article analyses Bronisława Niżyńska’s leadership of the Balet Polski Reprezentacyjny’s (Polish Ballet Representative’s) inaugural 1937-1938 season as a study of the Second Polish Republic’s assertion of national identity. I analyse the ballet, Chopin Concerto, as a choreographic representation of Polish culture for the company’s international debut at the 1937 Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris, as well as how audiences in London and Paris perceived the choreographic representations of Poland. I preface the Balet Polski’s debut with analysis of the cultural geo-hierarchy that pervaded Europe’s post-imperial system in the interwar years. To do so, I foreground Europe’s cultural cartography with Larry Wolff’s conception of Europe as a continent divided between East and West, while also incorporating Pascale Casanova’s literary mapping of centre and periphery. Concurrently, I adopt choreographic analysis of Chopin Concerto to question canon and cultural hierarchies. The research framework delineates the difficulty Poland, as a new nation in the post-imperial system, faced in asserting its cultural presence.
Keywords: Poland, Bronislava Nijinska, Ballet, Chopin, Cultural Diplomacy, Canon, Centre-Periphery
How to Cite:
Lian, J., (2023) “Dancing Polish Romanticism: Bronisława Niżyńska’s Chopin Concerto and the Balet Polski”, Slovo 36(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.0954-6839.1511