Monika Błaszczak is a Polish-Łemko dancer and choreographer from Gorzów Wielkopolski, who lives and creates in New York. Monika is passionate about movement, embodied memory, hauntology, queer-feminist ecologies, and the transformative power of love.
After obtaining a professional ballet dancer title from the State Ballet School in Poznań, Poland, Monika continued their education in Contemporary Dance at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, UK. They defended their bachelor's thesis with the highest distinction - First Honours Degree. Their studies were made possible through a full scholarship from The General Jan Zygmunt Emil Berek & Irena Bogumila Berek Charitable Trust and The Talent Scholarship Fund.
Since completing their studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, Monika has been developing their work in international contexts, creating pieces such as Rite of Spring: The Prelude, Mourning Songs, and Ballerina Horror Project.
Currently, Monika is studying in the Performance Studies Department at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. In recognition of their achievements, NYU Tisch offered them a full scholarship for their master's studies. According to available sources, Monika is the first person of Polish and Łemko origin to study in the MA Performance Studies program at NYU Tisch. Their academic mentor is Professor André Lepecki, whose guidance enriches Monika's creative journey.
Monika has showcased their work worldwide, gaining critical acclaim and building a community around their choreographic creations and movement practice called Soliloquy – Hauntological Somatics. Their choreographic works have been presented at venues like Tate Modern, Victoria and Albert Museum, The Place, V.O Curations, Laban Theatre, South London Gallery, Polish Dance Theatre, and others, as well as at numerous festivals such as Malta Festival, Festival Present Futures, and Borders of Nature – Borders of Culture at the Polish Dance Theatre.
Monika has been involved in numerous exciting interdisciplinary projects involving fashion, music, visual arts, dance, and choreography. They appeared in productions like the Burberry show at Tate Modern during London Fashion Week 2019 and the film Yohji Yamamoto 1983–2016 directed by Aro Archive, presented in Dazed and Nowness.
They have also appeared in several popular music videos, including Daniel Avery and Alessandro Cortini's Illusion of Time, Brodka's Game Change, and Ziemia by spalarnia. Longer version of Monika's solo in Brodka's music video is available here.
The artist has participated in inspiring artistic residencies, including La Wayaka Current in the Atacama Desert in Chile, Dancing Together, Again! Creative Residencies Programme in Tbilisi, Georgia, organized by the National Institute of Music and Dance in Poland and funded by the European Union under Creative Europe, Component Culture program, and within the creative residency program at Lublin Dance Theatre in Lublin.
Monika possesses extensive teaching experience and has taught regularly or as a guest in places such as Independent Dance in London, Galerie Molitor in Berlin, WADE Dance in New York, Proyecto Barranco in La Paz, Centro Manna in Santiago, and Pilates and Dance Centre Pendulum, and Polish Dance Theatre in Poznań.
As a member and founder of the dance collective MassHysteria, Monika has been recognized with the Trinity Laban Innovation Award, SET Studio Award, and funding from Arts Council England. They have received scholarships and grants from institutions like the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in Poland, the Jolanta and Leszek Czarnecki Foundation, the ZAIKS Creativity Support Fund, and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute. Monika has also been awarded the Young Art Medal in Poznań and were nominated by Trinity Laban for the Sadler’s Wells Young Associates program.
Monika had the honor of interning with renowned dance companies and cultural institutions. They completed internships with Dimitris Papaioannou at Sadler's Wells in London, Peeping Tom at The Barbican Centre in London, and the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute in Warsaw.
Monika's various endeavors show their determination to contribute to positive changes in the dance environment. As a member and founder of the queer-feminist dance collective MassHysteria, the artist co-creates diverse spaces for artistic exchange and supports the development of the art of dance. In 2019/20, Błaszczak served as the President of Dance at Trinity Laban Students' Union and as a student representative on The Board of Governors at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where they participated in university management processes and worked to improve the well-being of students. Błaszczak co-created and co-organized numerous symposiums and congresses related to dance and its development, such as the First Congress of Dance Against Violence in Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw, Difficulty In Dance Discourse and The Trouble with Dance at Laban Studio Theatre in London.