According to cellphoneexplorer, the ballet was introduced in Poland around 1520, thanks to the Italian princess Bona Sforza, wife of Sigismondo I. Always in the context of the court and of the aristocracy, it was then strengthened by the initiatives of Ladislao IV, Augusto II, Augusto III, who invited French choreographers and dancers. From the mid-eighteenth century ballet entered public performances, generally combined with performances of comedies or operas, with the participation of famous foreign performers. Only at the end of the century did national initiatives begin to take shape which allowed, in the nineteenth century, the flourishing of a national repertoire, alongside that of imports. In 1785 the last Polish king, Stanislaus II Augustus, created the first professional company in Warsaw which, in its original form, survived until 1794, year of the political dismemberment of the country between Russia, Prussia and Austria. During the period of Russian domination, a ballet company was recreated in Warsaw (1818) under the direction of master choreographers once again from France. The romantic period, which also opened here with the first apparitions of the Taglioni, was dominated by the presence of her father, Filippo, who directed the company from 1843 to 1853, staging many of the most popular titles in his repertoire, including the original version of La Sylphide he created in Paris for the daughter Maria. The Italian master was succeeded by the Polish Roman Turczynowicz, who maintained collaborative relationships, as well as with the Taglioni, with Grisi and with C. Blasis – who staged his Faust here (1856) – bringing the artistic and technical level of ballet into Poland at its highest level. After him the company was again entrusted to several Italian masters, the most famous of which, Enrico Cecchetti, who ruled the Imperial School of Warsaw from 1902 to 1905, contributed to a, however brief, rebirth of ballet, forming a new generation of performers (including Stanislas Idzikowski and Leon Woizikowski) from whom Djagilev also drew for his Ballets Russes. The ballet activity, however, remained concentrated, until then, in the capital. In the early years of the century a significant influence on the country’s dance culture had the appearances of some leaders of free dance and modernism – Duncan and Wigman, first of all, but also the creator of rhythmic gymnastics Jaques-Dalcroze – which aroused emulators and followers and consequently the flourishing of numerous schools of different techniques in many cities. Although the outbreak of World War I had slowed ballet activity considerably, in the immediate post-war period new ballet companies were annexed to the theaters of Poznań and Lvov.
The regained independence also saw the flourishing of creative activity. New ballets with a national theme, alongside famous titles from the Djagilevian repertoire, appeared on the Polish stage and a new company, the Ballet Polonaise, directed first by Woizikowski and then by Nijinska, achieved great success all over Europe in the period 1937-39. During the Second World War, the destruction of Warsaw and its Opera House by the Nazis also overwhelmed the company resident there, until then the custodian of one of the oldest traditions in Europe and guardian of precious vestiges in its repertoire. – such as Taglioni’s La Sylphide or Faust of Blasis – which were irretrievably lost. After the war, the Polish state rebuilt its ballet heritage from almost nothing, drawing heavily on the Russian-Soviet tradition and teaching. In addition to the rebirth of the Warsaw company, a dozen ensembles – including ballet and folkloric-inspired – were set up supported by the State’s contribution. Five new state academies provide the professional training of dancers, choreographers and dance teachers, fueled, at least up to the entire period of influence of the Soviet state over the Polish one, by frequent exchanges with Russian academies.