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A tribute to Anna Krzystek

Published: 28 Nov 2017

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Anna Krzystek, Creative Scotland’s Interdisciplinary Performance Officer and a world-renowned choreographer and dance artist, who was killed in a tragic accident in Brussels on Friday 24 November 2017.

Anna Krystek / Oblivia 2010 - photo by Eija Mäkivuoti

Anna was in Brussels representing Scotland and Scotland's artists at the IETM, presenting to international peers and bringing her incredible intellect, experience and passion to discussions about the transformative power of the arts.

Anna was a founding artist and Board Member of The Work Room, the artist-led organisation for dance in Glasgow, and she was a fearless advocate of artists' leadership role through their work and in their great impact on society.

Her commitment to the arts was exemplary in all her roles. Anna’s achievements include performances all over the world as an independent artist and choreographer, beginning with 'Test' in 2005 and, more recently 'Untitled #0.5 - Who What and Where is Anna?’ at Dance International Glasgow in 2017. Her other work includes more than 17 years as a core member of the award-winning Finnish performance group Oblivia bringing her incredible talent for comedy to the fore. She was also was part of Dudendance, whose work would bring her to Glasgow in 1994 where she would remain to build her home.

"I have a lot of respect for my audience, I think that people are very clever and that they can see and hear and engage with more than what is thought possible." said Anna in a 2011 interview in the Scotsman newspaper, showing her characteristic generosity of spirit.

"Anna’s artistic work cut a singular path which won plaudits all over the world for its uniqueness and uncompromising clarity," said Laura Cameron-Lewis, Head of Dance at Creative Scotland, who was with Anna in Brussels before her tragic death. "Anna herself was not difficult to work with, it was her work that resisted efforts to brush over it or squeeze it into other frames, it challenged you on its own terms and insistence of itself - this singularity which for me was synonymous with the singularity of her, of a unique soul within a universal continuum of humanity."

In the past year at Creative Scotland, in a new role as Interdisciplinary Performance Officer, Anna became an inspiring and passionate colleague applying her fierce intellect and curiosity and an extraordinary capacity for empathy and kindness to her work in representing and supporting other artists. Creative Scotland benefitted greatly from the experience, knowledge, and insight that Anna brought to our organisation both in the years she spent as a practising artist, and in the all-too-short time that she worked with us.

Anna was hugely respected in the dance and live art sector, by fellow artists and colleagues, but more than that, was loved by anyone who was fortunate enough to have become her friend.

She will be missed for her great capacity for warmth, for her mischievous sense of humour, for her infectious laugh, and for her love of friends and family, whom she was deeply committed to, especially her Mum, Grazia.

We are advised that there will be a funeral held for Anna in Glasgow, and further details will be made available on this page in due course.

Photo: Anna Krzystek / Oblivia 2010 by Eija Mäkivuoti