The building located at ul. św. Tomasza 37 houses the main premises of the Krakow Opera Ballet, where ballet and opera rehearsals, as well as the classes of the Ballet Studio – which is one of the very few ballet schools in Poland, normally take place.
The building is a protected structure of special historic interest. It is located in the Krakow Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has also been entered on the List of Historic Monuments of the President of the Republic of Poland.
More than PLN 6 million, of which 70% in EU funds, has been invested in full restoration of the façade, replacement of window joinery, external wall insulation, damp-proofing and thermal insulation, replacement of the roof framework, attic conversion, installation of a passenger lift, replacement of wood joinery and of the ballet dance flooring. Dancers can now enjoy two comfortable changing rooms, two rehearsal studios, break rooms, and exercise and physiotherapy facilities.
The ground floor of the building hosts an interactive Ballet 21 exhibition, which is a collection of memorabilia related to the Krakow Opera Ballet, ranging from its inception in 1954, through its first independent performance of Romeo and Juliet in 1963, to recent extravagant stagings. The dance scene is presented here from several different perspectives: historic and contemporary, its contribution to visual arts and education, from behind the scenes, the rehearsal studio, and the wardrobe. It is shown through the eyes of dancers, who both contributed to creating the exhibition and are its main characters. The exhibition can be explored in English, as well as by those with mobility limitations, visual and hearing impairment.
The historic building at ul. św. Tomasza 37 also houses the Krakow Opera Ballet Studio, which was established in 1963. Its first director was Maria Dimitrov. Currently, the Studio is headed by Magdalena Malska. It is one of the very few ballet schools in Poland with such a long history. In the period of more than 50 years of its existence and teaching efforts, the youth educated at the Studio has joined many professional ballet companies, including the Krakow Opera, the Silesian Opera, Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz, the Grand Theatre in Łódź, the Grand Theatre in Poznań, the Gliwice Operetta, the Wrocław Operetta, the Henryk Tomaszewski Pantomime Company, and the Polish Dance Theatre – Ewa Wycichowska’s Poznań Ballet. As a result of upgrading and restoration projects, the quality of the Studio’s premises has matched that of its achievements.