Four dancers – all of them young people with limited movement abilities – perform against the extraordinary backdrop of the Silesian Masuria natural reserve, home to species that need a protected habitat to survive. The choreography, created specifically for these dancers, presents both physical and acting challenges. Protected Species takes a critical look at how we perceive people with limited movement without resorting to the overused media narratives of ‘victim’ and ‘superhero’.

Shot in the natural protected area of Żabie Doły, the so-called Silesian Masuria, Protected Species combines documentary and movement performance. As in the natural world, natural defence mechanisms are on display here. The protagonists discover the truth about their bodies somewhere between stage performance and real life. Unlike their daily experience, the stage offers them a safe haven, a sanctuary, the only place where they can honestly, though not without fear, express their identity.

  • Choreographer, performative actions ― Rafał Urbacki
  • Dancers ― Tatiana Cholewa, Radosław Lis, Karolina Stroisz
  • Light by ― Rafał Urbacki, Michał Wawrzyniak
  • Assistant ― Marlena Hermanowicz
  • Concept and edited by ― Anu Czerwiński, Rafał Urbacki
  • Cinematography by ― Anu Czerwiński
  • Performed by ― Tatiana Cholewa, Filip Pawlak, Karolina Stroisz, Katarzyna Szarawara
  • Narrated by ― Karolina Kędziora
  • Camera assistant ― Piotr Gacek (WRiTv UŚ)
  • Project coordinated by ― laba off | Natalia Starowieyska
  • Production ― ROZBARK Theatre
  • Media sponsor ― TVP Kultura
  • Premiere ― 27 June 2014
  • Protected Species offers no turgid praise […]. Instead, there is pride in the physical capabilities of the imperfect bodies which, by the way, are truly impressive.

    Alicja Müller |

  • I admit it, I was in shock but it was also cathartic. […] The show is well-worth watching to experience the poetry of the extraordinary emotions that are not fully verbalised, to feel the pulsating commitment of the event participants and the omnipresent bond with the species homo sapiens.

    Iwona Kucharska |


Date and hour

26 October
27 October


Running time

50 minutes