Always in love with movement

One of the founders of the renowned MN Dance Company, prominent choreographer, former hip-hop dancer Michal Rynia, speaks to Vijesti about his engagement in Budva at the Adriatic Festival of Dance and the recent premiere of the play "Flights" which he worked with his professional and life partner Nastja Bremec Rynia

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Michal Rynia, Photo: Michal Rynia
Michal Rynia, Photo: Michal Rynia
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

The passion for storytelling, through myths, abstract concepts or literary narratives, connected two excellent dance artists who improved their creative, artistic and professional collaboration and transferred it to their private life. That shared love and vision encourages them to create original and interesting choreography for every show after 15 years... It's about Michal Rynia from Poland and Nastja Bremec Rynia from Slovenia.

The two are also the founders of the largest Slovenian private ballet troupe, which is also the most important artistic association within the European Capital of Culture (ECC) Nova Gorica 2025 project.

A Polish man and a Slovenian woman made a name for themselves on stages all over Europe and more than 15 years ago they formed their own theater - MN Dance Company. This ballet company, in addition to opening the prestigious Slovenian event next year, is a partner of the Budva Tourism Organization (TO) at this year's Adriatic Dance Festival, where they were professionally engaged. TO Budva is in honor of the Polish Nobel laureate, Olga Tokarchuk, who visited the "Ćirilica" festival last year, chose the piece "Flights" created by this artistic duo. The performance "Flights" had its premiere in the form of a ballet recently in Budva. Michal Rynia tells Vijesti about his impressions, more about cooperation and his own work.

Both graduated from CODARTS - Rotterdam Dance Academy and went on to create their signature dance style and narrative through body language. Their training methods are based on new ways of movement and body expression. Under the influence of their origins, they create clean, powerful and expressive dance, according to their official website.

"We express ourselves through dance. We feel the need to create and tell an abstract story through movement. Inspired by the everyday life situation and our intuition, we talk about the beauty and chaos of the world we live in and the world we imagine", the website states.

Michal Rynia was born in 1984 in Wroclaw, and started his career as a hip-hop dancer. He recorded numerous successes and awards at numerous competitions, both in Poland and the Netherlands, and at the world level.

This is your first co-production project with Montenegro. Can you tell us about your experience after the premiere of the ballet "Flights" in Budva and something about the concept that Budva used, which is "Migration" authored by Dr. Predrag Zenovića?

Our cooperation with Montenegro on a co-production project was a fulfilling experience, but also a challenge for the premiere outside our country. We were delighted to perform on the Budva stage and we appreciated the warm welcome and support of TO Budva as the festival organizer. The theme of migration resonated deeply within us and encouraged us to explore this concept more deeply through choreography and storytelling. We were inspired by the topicality of the topic in today's world and the concept that Budva expertly chose, and we were also encouraged by the positive reception of the Budva audience. It was a special and enriching experience that we hope will lead to more cooperation with Budva and Montenegro in the future.

From the play 'DisTance'
From the play "DisTance"photo: TO Budva

You have been working and living with Nastja for more than 15 years. It's wonderful to find the inspiration and energy to make so many new outstanding dance projects with one person, among others. That wonderful cooperation is crowned with love. What would you say? how is it possible to create magic with Nastya for more than 15 years?

Our shared passion for storytelling, especially through myths, abstract concepts or literary narratives, drives us to create original and engaging choreography for each performance. The diversity of our inspirations makes our work fresh, challenging and compelling. In the plays we bring to life, some stories are drawn from our everyday experiences, while others are the products of our wild imaginations. Through our dedication to the craft and our deep connection, we are able to continuously create dance projects that resonate with audiences around the world.

You are very involved in the EPK Nova Gorica 2025 project. Budva tried and unfortunately failed. Can you tell us your experience and how important it is for a city to be an EPK?

While it is disappointing that Budva was unsuccessful in its EPC bid, the future presents new opportunities for growth and recognition. I will especially highlight the ongoing project - the Adriatic Game Festival, which is the best form for EPK and attracts an international audience more than similar festivals. The EPK designation is essential for promoting culture and art in the city, fostering a better understanding of its importance among local residents and artists. However, achieving this status also comes with its own set of challenges and responsibilities.

Serving as part of the official program of the European Capital of Culture GO! 2025 Nova Gorica - Gorica was a transformative experience that opened up new dimensions for us and provided opportunities to continuously work with dancers in our company. There is also the development of concepts and ideas for the next performance "Body without Borders", which is one of the highlights of the program, which allows us to show our art and promote the region on an international level. This opportunity encouraged us to give back to the community and raise the profile of cultural excellence in the region, both locally and globally.

From the play 'Flights'
From the play "Flights"photo: TO Budva

You started your career in hip-hop and were one of the most successful hip-hop dancers in European history. You have also won several world championships. Do you miss hip-hop today and how much did that dance help you in your career?

I've always been in love with the movement as such. It was hip-hop that allowed me to express my creativity and physical skills. However, that wasn't enough for me from the start, so I took lessons, attended workshops and dedicated thousands of hours in the studio to master other dances as well. Urban dances are a way to master your body and create a foundation for a diverse approach to artistic play. As I grew up and matured, I progressed towards more complex themes, stories, thinking and movements. I lacked communication and sending messages and I got that through the non-verbal communication of modern dance and that's how I entered the world without borders that modern dance offers today.

In addition to the projects you created for theaters and festivals, you also excelled with your films and video works on the subject of movement, dance and dance. How is it that so few artists in the Balkans have such deep thinking and activities in that field and how is it that no one like you has managed to create such interesting, strong and successful films?

Dance is a magical art form that unfolds in the moment, like a flowing river that is ever-changing and never the same. While I appreciate the live experience of a dance performance, I have always been intrigued by the idea of ​​capturing these moments of magic on film. The camera allows us to freeze these fleeting moments, creating a different kind of visual storytelling.

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