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Silesian Dance Theatre

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Eventi importanti

(dettaglio)1912 | After teatring down the first building of the Longbow Fraternity, the new one was built according to Eugen Walter's project

(dettaglio)1974 | reconstructuion of the building

(dettaglio)1991 | Silesian Dance Theatre was founded

(dettaglio)5.6.1992 | the first premiere of Silesian Dance Theatre - "Między wodami" ("Between the waters")
(dettaglio)1994 | Ist Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival
(dettaglio)2009 | the beginning of thermomodernization of the building, which was finished in 2010

(dettaglio)2010 | "Betonowa Kostka" ("A Concrete Cube") - the anti-price for the worstly modernized building in silesian province

(dettaglio)2011 | the project of revitalisation of the old mine Rozbark is being prepared


(dettaglio)Eugen Walter |architetto
architect, author of the building constructed at the place after the primal seat of the Shooting Fraternity

(dettaglio)Jacek Łumiński |

dancer, choreographer pedagogue, founder and director of the Silesian Dance Theatre


Schulzenhaus – Gmach Bractwa Strzeleckiego - the headquarters of the Shooting Association

In spite of its established position, both in Poland and abroad, the Silesian Dance Theatre (Śląski Teatr Tańca), which has been working since 1991, has no headquarters. Its shares a building with the Bytom Cultural Centre (Bytomskie Centrum Kultury - BCK) with permanent access to the rehearsal room and with the access to the stage 10 days a month. The Silesian Dance Theatre regularly prepares premieres, conducts wide educational and social activity and has been organising an International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival for 18 years.

The theatre and the Bytom Cultural Centre are based at 27 Żeromskiego street, in the place that had been the headquarters of the Shooting Association since 1861.

The tradition of rooster brotherhoods and shooting associations on Polish land goes back to the Middle Ages. Their activity, restricted at the beginning of the partition period, enjoyed a renaissance in the middle of the 19th century. The Upper Silesian Shooting Association (Górnośląski Związek Strzelecki), set up in 1849, united as many as nine local societies, including the one from Bytom (Beuthen).

Initially the headquarters of the association was in Podgórna street, but after 1861 it was moved to a building in Lenartowicza street. The edifice was stylised after colonial houses, with an open work porch and centrally located wide stairs. It had a tower on the projection of a rectangle, with a viewing terrace on the top. The building was destroyed in 1911.

In 1912, a new two-storey building designed by Eugen Walter was erected on the site of the old edifice. Due to a high sloping roof, arcade galleries and a characteristic cylindrical tower, crowned with a conical cupola, the rather heavy proportions of the compact building gained lightness and elegance: it was both functional and stylish. After the Second World War, the building became the headquarters of the City Community Centre (Miejski Dom Kultury). During a reconstruction in 1974, the arcades, the sloping roof and the cupola covering the tower were removed, and the windows in the tower bricked up. A convex glazed gallery was built on at the level of the first floor from the front, as well as a low annex with a drive from the side. As a result, the building lost its previous character and its compact skyline, becoming an amalgamation of accidental architectural elements. The company of the Silesian Dance Theatre, set up in 1991, was allocated the headquarters here the following year.

At the turn of 2008 and 2009, the Gliwice workshop An Archi Group drew up a design for the modernisation and extension of the building. The design included the construction of an additional storey, garages on the site of the drive under the arcades, and a glazed lift for the disabled in the existing tower. A viewing terrace was to be built on the top of the tower, whereas an exhibition was to be placed on the internal walls of the tower in order to be viewed from the lift. It was also planned to modernise the technical equipment of the stage. The unified elevation was supposed to be maintained in various shades of grey, and the rebuilt car park in front of the theatre was to be used as an area to organise projects in the open air.

Unfortunately, the prepared design was not accomplished; only the thermomodernisation of the building was implemented. The final design, which was accepted for financial reasons, diverges considerably from the esthetical foundations of the original one. The elevation was painted in pistachio green, and the tower was crowned with a conical roof. Having been revitalised in this way, in 2011 the building was awarded with “A Concrete Cube” – a sort of anti-award bestowed for the worst architectural or urban accomplishment in the Katowice agglomeration.

In view of varied activities of the company, including the preparation of performances, numerous social and educational projects, organising the conference, as well as sharing the building with the Faculty of Dance Theatre of the State Theatre School of Kraków (Wydział Teatru Tańca Państwowej Wyższej Szkoły Teatralnej - since 2007) and with the Bytom Cultural Centre, the space appeared to be insufficient. In 2002, the Silesian Dance Theatre started to collaborate with the Szombierki heat and power plant, which had at its disposal various post-industrial spaces from the period following the end of the First World War, designed by Georg and Emil Zillmann. The space of the heat and power plant was initially made accessible to the theatre as an additional stage during the Contemporary Dance Conference. In time it became the venue of regular performances. The collaboration with the plant ended in 2011 when it was taken over by a Finnish investor.

The next building to house the Academy of Performative Arts (Wyższa Szkoła Sztuk Performatywnych, which remains the non-resident faculty of the State Theatre School of Kraków as the first stage of creating an independent institution) was a historic tenement house at 24 Piłsudski street. Built in 1890 in the style of Historicism, it is currently under renovation. There are also plans to revitalise the former Rozbark mine. In the historic post-industrial complex there is an old pithead building from 1911 in the Art Nouveau style. The architect is unknown, though certain features may point to Giszowiec and Nikiszowiec. The Centre of Dance is to be located in the pithead building and in the neighbouring administration building. The project includes the erection of a complex made up of a performance room for 600 spectators, eight rehearsal rooms, a gymnasium, dressing rooms, guest rooms for lecturers and a dormitory. At the moment, the design is being drawn up and the investment is to be completed in 2013.



1. Śląski Teatr Tańca 1992-2002, oprac. K. Furmaniuk, R. Kuśnierz, J. Łumiński.

2.Wieczorek E., Bytom i okolice, Bytom 2001.



Autore: Anna Ochman

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