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Grażyna Dąbrowska,
ethnochoreologist; b. 28th November 1921 in Warsaw. She studied pedagogy in Łódź and ethnography in Warsaw (under W. Dynowski) and Wrocław (with A. Nasz). In 1957-61 she attended Laban-Knust kinetography courses run by Roderyk Lange under the auspices of Polish Ministry of Culture and Art, emerging with a kinteography teaching diploma in 1964. In 1975 she earned a PhD for a thesis on folk dances of the Mazowsze region. After the war, in 1945-48 she taught at primary schools in the countryside, became involved in artistic education of children and young people, and worked to develop amateur artistic projects, propagating them and performing with amateur groups. In 1968-81 she worked at the Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) in Warsaw, whose section on folk dance she revived. She created and directed folk bands and shows, including the Korowód Band operating at the University of Warsaw (1964-69), Koncerty mazowieckie (Mazovian Concertos) presented at the National Folk Festival in Płock (1972-79), or Wesele kurpiowskie (A Kurpie Wedding) featuring a group of folk performers of the villages of Kadzidło, Wykrot, and Olszyna shown at the international festival Folklore ‘75 held in Belgium under UNESCO auspices. She has also been a juror of the International Folklore Festival of the Danube Countries in Hungary (since 1972) and a member of the study group on ethnochoreology of the International Council for Traditional Music (formerly: International Folk Music Council), a UNESCO organisation for ethnomusicology and ethnochoreology research. As a member of the study group, Grażyna Dąbrowska took part in a range of seminars and conferences, and organised two in Poland. The first, held in 1979 in Zaborów, dealt with the analysis and classification of folk dances, while the second, held in 1994 in Skierniewice, covered the relations between dance, ritual, and music. In 1989 she founded the Polish Society for Ethnochoreology, which publishes a bulletin, holds conferences, and is a platform facilitating the integration of researchers, propagators of amateur art movement, and folk dance lovers.
Grażyna Dąbrowska wrote a range of publications, including the most extensive collection of Polish folk dances titled Tańcujże dobrze. Tańce polskie and a monograph on the regional dances of Mazowsze. She has organised folk bands and events, series of lectures on folk dances (e.g. in Nowy Sącz under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and at the University of Toruń), and concerts of folk musicians, singers, and dancers from Poland's different regions (e.g. the series Pieśni ojczystej ziemi (Songs of Homeland) at the Warsaw Philharmonic since 1991). Her work was essential for the development of the study of folk dances as a separate research field called ethnochoreology. She received the Silver Cross of Merit (1955), the title of Distinguished Cultural Activist (Zasłużony Działacz Kultury; 1975), and the Kolberg Award (1987).

 
updated: February 2015 (ab)