Dance is one of the passions of Sii Poland’s employees, which they develop thanks to the support of Passion Sponsorship Program. It provides a huge dose of energy in everyday life for both amateurs and people who have been training for years and have reached the world-class level. Kornelia Musiałowska, Junior HR Power User and Business Consultant tells us about her love for Kuchipudi, a classical Indian dance and her career development at Sii.
You have been working at Sii Poland since June 2019 in Katowice branch, where you held the position of an Event Specialist. Has your role changed in the past year? What are you currently doing?
Kornelia Musiałowska, Junior HR Power User / Business Consultant: Yes, after almost 2 years I decided to apply for the position of Power User in the HR Department at the company’s headquarters in Warsaw. I still work from Katowice branch, often also from home, but now for the entire company, not just the HR Department of Sii Katowice.
When the internal recruitment for this position started, I thought about the development that such a change would bring. Currently, I have the opportunity to learn new tools and take a closer look at the IT area with which I work directly. I deal with the development and improvement of HR applications used in Sii Poland and this job is really very interesting! With the help of the entire Internal IT team, you can implement visions and ideas that facilitates company’s development and support each employee directly.
At the beginning of the year, you became a beneficiary of Sii Passion Sponsorship Program. Tell us about your unique passion.
K.M.: This is an Indian dance that I have been practicing for 12 years now. It was then, that I was fascinated with Bollywood cinema – I joined a local dance team quite quickly, which meant that I began to discover more and more aspects of Indian culture and the dance itself, which drew me in and fascinated me more and more. After some time spent on watching films, I had the opportunity to see a live performances of classical dancers in Poland. I started to learn classical Indian dance Kuchipudi – it is a unique, ancient form of dance, originating from the state of Andra Pradesh in the south-east of India on the Bay of Bengal. I have been learning this dance ever since from the guru Arunima Kumar, who lives in London.
How did it happen that you started practicing with a master almost 2,000 km away? What is it about this dance?
I quickly realized that in Indian dance there are many references to culture, that it is saturated with symbolism, which meant that I had to go deeper and deeper into it. I was fascinated by the way stories and emotions are communicated. I love this aesthetic of movement that combines fast pace, precise steps, but also grace and subtlety.
It turned out that there were very few classical dance teachers in Poland, so together with a friend who also succumbed to Kuchipudi’s power, we got in touch with Arunima in London – and that was the best thing that could happen to us. It’s a lifetime acquaintance!
Arunima lives in London but started learning Kuchipudi in Delhi at the age of 5, from the famous dance gurus. She is an amazing person who tries to convey knowledge about traditions of the Indian dance, connecting them with the modern world. In Great Britain, she created many choreographies and dance projects concerning the fight for women’s rights and the issue of domestic violence. By her side I had the opportunity to appear in a short story for BBC!
In Poland, people do not know Indian culture nor the principles of dance at all. We learn it for years, we know that each gesture has its own meaning, the nature of each character is revealed by means of unique steps assigned to them. Before the performance, we always explain to our audience what the choreography will be about, what is worth paying attention to, what the next gestures mean. We want the viewers to understand what we are talking about – that they really notice this story. It is a difficult stage art: the repertoire is strongly associated with the Indian religion, all features and principles are written down in the treatise “Natyashastra”, which is the source of knowledge about Indian dance. Initially, it was only performed by men. Today, the tradition is passed on verbally, but the basics are always the same. Everyone has been dancing the same for hundreds of years!
As I mentioned, I’ve been training for 12 years. Currently, I practice 2-3 times a week for 2-3 hours. We have a lot of training sessions, but also performances both in Poland and abroad. Whenever possible, I go to London to study it further. We have also been going to a dance festival in Norway for several years now. Bollywood Festival Norway takes place there at the beginning of September. Apart from us, there are musicians and dance groups from Norway, UK and India on the stage in Oslo.
You are promoting Kuchipudi abroad, but you also got involved in it for the first time in Poland.
Yes, thanks to the support of Sii Polska, the Kuchipudi Dance Festival was held in Chorzów in July – I obtained a grant for the organization of the event in Passion Sponsorship Program. This type of concert has never been held in Poland before: we presented basic elements of Kuchipudi, we showed its unique history and we made sure that our Polish audience understood everything. I am glad because the representatives of the Embassy of India from Warsaw also came to our event in Chorzów.
You have been training persistently for 6-9 hours a week for years, organized performances and spectales, and you continue to devote your time and a lot of energy to it. You are unstoppable! How do you do it, that you are so persistent in it?
For me, dancing is a great escape from the usual everyday challenges. I make myself complete in it. I also fulfill my childhood dreams of being a dancer – not a ballerina, but still! In fact, this dance is just life for me: I have made so many friendships owing to this passion, I have visited so many countries, I have experienced so many adventures! Sometimes there are moments of doubt, questions about what all that stands for me. But then, there is this moment when I stand on the stage, I feel the spotlight on me, I see the focus and expectations of the audience … This is a magical moment – like in a movie! It gives me great joy and pumps adrenaline. After the performance, when I hear people’s delight, I feel like a star, a real artist. These are the emotions that will charge you with positive energy for the next few weeks!
I am also very satisfied with the fact that we are the only team in Poland that deals with Kuchipudi dance and one of the few in Europe. We are recognizable in our group, we have our reputation and I am extremely proud that as a person from Europe I can convey this dance in a valuable and authentic way, it is really unique!
Regardless of whether your great passion is sports or culture, breakdance as in the case of Bartek, or the Indian dance of Kuchipudi, as in the case of Kornelia – at Sii Poland we try to support the development of employees. Especially, if our people are unstoppable in their passion! Join the team – check our job offers!