Autumn Blues

Blues In Warsaw

About

16-18 November 2018

It’s time for the third edition of Warsaw’s first international blues dance festival. We are looking forward to inspiring classes with fantastic teachers, blues dance parties with live music and other festivities!

This year your teachers will be:
Gaston Fernandez and Alba Mengual from Spain – one of the most recognised blues teaching couples in the world (Blues in couples, Blues Solo and Slow Dance),
Konrad Pruśniewski and Agnieszka Pluwak – co-creators of Warsaw’s blues scene, respected in Poland and abroad, restlessly spreading the blues (Blues in couples, Blues Solo),
Filip Wąsiewski and Krystyna Ostrowska – Konrad and Agnieszka’s pupils, blues teachers at SWINGOUT.PL, creative and devoted to the idea of blues popularisation, members of Warsaw’s blues community (Blues in couples),
Viola Wojciechowska – energetic, talented and experienced dancer and instructor of African dances (Afro),
Jacek Wazelin – experienced dancer, choreographer and teacher who specialises in Broadway Jazz (Broadway Jazz).

This year we are planning dance classes for couples, solo dancers, lessons for experienced dancers and for true beginners. We will have Blues, Afro and Brodway Jazz!

Let’s meet at Autumn Blues 2018!

 

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Teachers

Gastón “Gas” Fernández

Gastón “Gas” Fernández is a professional dancer and dance instructor, based in Madrid, Spain. He specializes in vintage dance styles including Lindy Hop, Charleston, authentic jazz, Balboa, Blues and Tango. As a former gymnast he is known in the swing dance community for his powerful acrobatics and aerials, while his background in Tango gives his blues style drama and strength, grounded in a sensitive connection with his partner. Gastón’s passion for swing has taken him around the world, teaching from New york to Melbourne, he has taught in some of the best swing and blues camps in the world, like Herran, Snowball, MSF, Lindy shock, Smokey feet, Berlin Blues Explosion, Nocturne Blues, and many more.

Gastón is devoted to promoting and fostering swing dance and culture in Argentina, Latin America and Spain. He has directed two stage productions featuring live jazz and vintage dance in Buenos Aires: Swing Argentino with the Cuerdas del Sur band, and La Batalla: Swing en el Konex with the Antigua Jazz Band. He also runs South America’s first and largest annual swing dance festival, LHAIF (Lindy Hop Argentina International Festival) each year in Buenos Aires and the first Blues event in South America, “Careless weekend”.

He has also been a major proponent of Blues dance in Buenos Aires and is now is teaching Blues internationally. With intense partner connection, Gas fuses Blues with Tango technique, though always striving to stay grounded in the essence of the Blues.

Gastón is also an avid jazz music collector and a popular DJ. He has DJ’d for swing and blues dancers around the world.

Alba Mengual

Alba started swing dancing because the swing people were exactly the crowd she was looking for in a new city, with the time the dancing on the dance floor led her to ecstasy, and she was really hooked when the jazz music found a big space in her heart. There was no way back then!. She loves all the different dance styles of the swing era: Lindy Hop, Blues, Balboa and Authentic Jazz, all of which she trains in and teaches regularly.

She started teaching locally in leeds since 2008 and in London for swing patrol in 2010. The dancing grew on her and she held the dream to have enough time to train and develop her dancing at the level she wished, to become a full time teacher and an organizer in her hometown Madrid. In November 2012 she decided to have the guts to fulfill her dream, quitted her job and moved back to Madrid, where she opened a swing school (Big Mama Swing), alongside with an international top lead, Gastón Fernández.. This step in her life is lead her to being asked to teach internationally with increasing frequency at different international events: Uppsala (Sweden), Stockholm, Barcelona, Paris, Toulouse, La Guiole, Valencia, Lisbon, Porto, New York (USA, Nocturne Blues), Melbourne and perth (Australia) and she had the pleasure to teach at Herrang Dance Camp (2014, 2015 for lindy hop, 2016 slow dance). She is eager to share with everybody her passion for dance that has taken over her life.

Konrad Pruśniewski

Konrad Pruśniewski as a curious person tried a variety of different activities. From primary school he had been learning Japanese martial arts which as a result led him from soft to a bit harder styles. When in 2013 by coincidence he discovered lindy hop, boxing gloves had been abandoned permanently. Since then dance turned his world up-side-down and revealed different ways of enjoying life. Hard work led him to fast progress and also several achievements in Lindy Hop and Blues contests. Only in Blues Konrad won 1st place in JnJ on Bluesila (Lithuania), Blues Baby Blues (Great Britain), Grenoble Fallin’ in Blues 2016 (France), crazy JnJ on Drag the Blues 2015 (Spain) and several 2nd and 3rd places in Lindy Hop or Blues contests around Europe.

Creativity and curiosity directed him into Blues in which he found complementation of dancing and also deeper connection and feeling. Dancing with Agnieszka opened new tracks and started a new chapter in their lives. Creating and building new, not known and not scheduled or imposed form out of expression in each dance is the thing most valuable for Konrad. During mentioned process you never know what will be revealed. It just might be ordinary fun but also it could become a masterpiece understandable and visible only for two.

More info: konradandagnieszka.com

Agnieszka Pluwak

Agnieszka Pluwak has found Blues to be a perfect form of dance expression for her as a dance that reflects her dancing story: it has African roots, some tango impact and a spell of jazz elegance. She started dancing at the age of 7 with ballroom, to then turn to African and modern jazz dances. She loves inspirations from all kinds of styles and Blues seems to cover that. Agnieszka has been teaching a variety of classes in Germany and Spain and now tries to build a Blues scene in Warsaw with her partner, Konrad Pruśniewski.

As for her achievements she may be proud of 1st place in solo blues during Grenoble Fallin’ Blues 2016 (France) plus second place in JnJ, 2nd place on Drag the Blues 2015 (Spain) crazy JnJ, 2nd place on Bluesila Dance Camp 2015 (Lithuania).

“The beauty of Blues is in its indefiniteness…. There are no steps, choreographies… a magnet attraction of two poles resulting in a piece of intimate creation between prolific, open dancers, willing to experiment while discovering different layers of rhythm and music”.

More info: konradandagnieszka.com

Filip Wąsiewski & Krysia Ostrowska

Krysia i Filip started their dancing adventure in 2016. At the beginning they were captivated by joyful Lindy Hop and a bit later by elaborate Balboa. Yet their true fascination came only after they started dancing Blues which has entered their hearts and resounds in them to this day.

Since then they relentlessly search for inspiration taking part in numerous blues festivals organised in Europe. They are finalists of Jack&Jill contests at: Bluesberry Nights 2017 (solo), Valentine’s Blues 2018 (solo and in couple) and Fallin’ In Blues 2018 (in couple).

During classes they focus not only on movement technique, but also on enjoying the dance. This is why they emphasize the dialogue with dance partner, musicality and improvisation to Diverse blues music, open to interpretation and storytelling on the dance floor.

 

Viola Wojciechowska

Viola Wojciechowska is dancing afro since 1997. She is also psychologist working with teenagers and children. During many travels to West Africa she was working with the best dancers and solists from Mali, Guinea, Gambia and Senegal. In Europe she was cooperating with many artists in traditional Africain projects and new wave fusions as well.
She is teaching dance for 12 years and leading “C’est ca!” dance group. She is organizing music and dance workshop travels to Guinea and Gambia.
In Warsow Viola is working in Centrum Kultur Świata and Strefa Rytmu.

During afro dance classes you will work traditional West African steps to the accompaniament of drums but first of all you will feel wildness of Africa!

Jacek Wazelin

 

Jacek Wazelin is an experienced dancer, choreographer and teacher specializing in Broadway Jazz. As a member of a latin-american dance group – Takt Zomar Chełm he twice won the Polish Championship, also taking 4th place at European and World Championships.

A longtime member of a Polish national dances group – Zespół Pieśni i Tańca Ziemi Chełmskiej and a choreographer of numerous Polish TV productions including So You Think You Can Dance, Got Talent. His musical career started in Music Theater in Lublin , he also worked in two German musical super productions: Mamma Mia Come Together and West Side Story.

Currently Jacek Wazelin creates choreographies for theater plays, fashion shows, TV commercials, he also organizes and teaches at dance workshops and festivals.

 

Alex Palamidis & Ioanna Panagopoulou – taster teachers

 

Alex and Ioanna are an enthusiastic blues dance couple! They’ve been dancing, practicing & travelling together the past couple of years exploring the Blues dance, culture and communities.

They love to share their unique style of dancing through teaching (they’ve taught in Spain both as main and taster teachers), perform (they’ve performed in prominent festivals around Europe like Drag the Blues and ESBF), and cherish looong nights of social dancing!

Music

Christine And The Blue Drags

Christine And The Blue Drags is a quartet made up of Krystyna Ostrowska (Krysia), a talented singer and dancer; Sławomir Nowodworski (Sławek), a versatile harmonicist; Jan Lipert (Janek), an excellent experienced drummer; Witold Bielski (Witek), a singing multi-instrumentalist who plays the guitar and keyboard, among other instruments.

They share a deep fascination with the blues, New Orleans jazz, swing and classic soul music. They are inspired by artists such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Ella Fitzerald, or Nina Simone. Their shows are a return to the roots of the blues and the times when the blues combined various musical influences and was mainly music that people danced to.

Sławek and Witek have been playing together since November 2016 when they performed a pre-war standard Blue Drag at Fiesta Harmonica Festival in Stalowa Wola. In February 2017, they played at a dance party at Valentine’s Blues festival, and Krysia sang a few songs with them as a guest. This improvised trio created some really good vibes and instantly won the hearts, and legs!, of the audience. No wonder that they decided to keep on playing the blues as a trio, and to focus on playing for dancers. In the fall of 2017 they were joined by Janek, an experienced drummer, a regular at some of the best jam sessions in Warsaw, giving more power and flavour to the band’s sound.

So far, they have performed as part of a series of summer dance events organized by Sinfonia Varsovia, and at blues dance parties prepared in cooperation with the Swing Dance Studio SwingOut.pl | Lindy Hop in Warsaw, in venues such as the atmospheric Spanish restaurant Buñuel in Warsaw’s Saska Kępa district.

Christine And The Blue Drags:

Krystyna Ostrowska – vocal
Sławomir Nowodworski – harp
Jan Lipert – drums
Witold Bielski – vocal, multi-instrumentalist who plays the guitar and keyboard, among other instruments.

 

The Blue Drags Duo

 

 

Sławek Nowodworski – harmonica player – and Witek Bielski – multiinstrumentalist, singer – met in November 2016 in Warsaw, Poland. Although they knew about each other from the polish blues music scene, they had no opportunity to play music together until then. They soon discovered they their attitudes towards music, and their styles of playing, are similar and so they were able to play and perform together right away. They first performed together at Fiesta Harmonica Festival in Stalowa Wola. There they played the pre-war standard “Blue Drag”. The rest is history. Witek once wrote about Sławek: “His playing is as sweet as honey to my ears. Wherever he pulls his harmonica out and blows into it, hearts rejoice”. Sławek said something similar about Witek: “Well, he can play”.

At Autumn Blues 2018 Sławek and Witek will play their own, often wild and funny, although sometimes thrilling and grave interpretations of well and lesser known blues standards. Of course, since both of them are involved in the world of blues dancing, their music will make you dance.

Schedule

Blues 0 — Blues in couples, level 0 (basic classes for true beginners)
Blues 1 — Blues in couples, level 1
Blues 2 — Blues in couples, level 2
Slow Dance 1 — Slow Dance in couples, level 1
Slow Dance 2 — Slow Dance in couples, level 2
Solo – various styles: Blues, Afro Dance, Broadway Jazz solo (without a partner), level open (for everyone, also true beginners!)

Descriptions of the levels

Prices and registration

BLUES PASSES

BLUES 0

BLUES 1

BLUES 2

3 hours of classes

26 EUR

6 hours of classes

85 EUR

6 hours of classes

85 EUR

OTHER CLASSES

Solo Blues:
Konrad

Afro Dance
Solo: Viola

Solo Blues:
Alba

Broadway Jazz
Solo: Jacek

1 hour of classes

12 EUR

1 hour of classes

12 EUR

1 hour of classes

12 EUR

1.5 hours of classes

18 EUR

Slow Dance 1

Slow Dance 2

1.5 hours of classes

20 EUR

1.5 hours of classes

20 EUR

Friday and Saturday Party included!

Discount for combination Blues 1 or Blues 2 together with Solo and/or Slow Dance:
1.5 EUR for every Solo or/and Slow Dance lesson.

PARTIES

Friday Party

Saturday Party

Party Pass

16th of November

5 EUR

17th of November

6 EUR

Both parties

10 EUR

Levels

Blues 0 – Beginner

Classes for novices, who haven’t tried Blues dancing yet and who would like to be able to dance on the dancefloor or join regular classes

Blues 1 – Intermediate

Workshops for dancers with an annual experience or less (either taking regular classes or participating in many weekend festivals).

Blues 2 – Advanced

Blues dancers with more than a year of experience, knowing all dancing positions, distinguishing between Blues genres and are feeling very well with the level of their dancing technique (balance, movement flow, etc.)

Slow Dance 1 – Intermediate

This level is meant for the Lindy Hop dancers with an dance-floor experience of about one year, familiar with basic lindy figures (Swing Out, Lindy Circle, Tuck Turn, 6 Count), able to dance to both slow and fast tempo and using stretches.

Slow Dance 2 – Advanced

Workshops for dancers with more than a year of a dance-floor experience, knowing a wide variety of Lindy Hop figures, as well as styling elements, using different footworks effortlessly, differentiating stretches and the energy flow between the couple, knowing different rhythms, capable of slowing down, speeding up and interpreting the music.

Solo

One level, the same for all participants. Beginners are very welcome!

Venues

Classes

All classes between 10 AM and 6 PM (10:00 — 18:00) will take place at Akademia Tańca Tomasza Potockiego, Wolność Street 2a (how to get there).

Classes that take place directly before the parties, will be held at Antrakt Restaurant, Słowackiego Street 19a.

Parties

Friday and Saturday party will take place at Antrakt Restaurant, Słowackiego Street 19a.

Sunday Party will be held at Coyote Club (Słowackiego Street 25)

AFTER PARTY (Saturday)

PraCoVnia Art-Club,
Popiełuszki 16, 01-590 Żoliborz, Warszawa, Poland
facebook.com/praCoVnia

 

Travelling to Warsaw

Warsaw can be reached easily and relatively cheap from most of the European cities. Below you’ll find just a few directions on how to travel to Poland.

Some useful information on Warsaw City
WarsawTour – Official Tourist Portal of Warsaw
Warsaw – The Official Website of the Capital of Poland
Wikipedia


Bus
Simple Express – Berlin, Vilnius, Kaunas, Riga, Tallin, Tartu, Narva, St. Petersburg
Eco Lines – Athens, Berlin, Bratislava, Budapest, Hamburg, Kaunas, Kiev, Moscow, Paris, Prague, Riga, Rotterdam, St. Petersburg, Vienna, Vilnius, Zurich and many other European cities.
Eurolines – Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Slovakia, Ukraine

Plane
Wizz Air – Oslo, Stockholm, Goteborg, Malmo, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Paris, Brussels, Barcelona, Milan, Budapest, Rome
Ryan Air – Stockholm, Oslo, London, Dublin, Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Rome, Budapest and more.
Norwegian – Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Dublin, Edinburgh, Kiev, Hamburg, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Montpellier, Prague, Riga, Stockholm, Vilnius and many more

Chopin Airport – useful information and directions after arrival in Warsaw

Train
Warsaw can be reached by train from numerous European countries. You can plan your journey using the route planner.

Contact

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Contact info

registration@autumnblues.pl