Born from Polish parents, Bernard Smialek was granted French citizenship in 1968.
Stemming from a family of traditional musicians (cymbalum players) performing their art in the area of Rzeszow (Grodzisko), he wished not only to perpetuate the family’s tradition, but also to open up to the arts and traditions of other Polish regions.
Graduating in 1978 from the Polish Department of Culture in Warsaw, Bernard Smialek has been the youngest dance instructor. He was awarded a special distinction for his interpretation of the Polish national dance « Mazur ». The disclosure of his abilities got him a grant to the Marie Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin (Poland), where his studies and researches in the field of popular dances lead him to the grade of choreographer. During his studies, Bernard Smialek had the privilege to work with some of the best Polish choreographers (J.Marcinkowa, W.Zach, I.Wachowiak, Z.Kwiatkowski, A.Korytek..), who transmitted him a discipline for work, as well as the love and respect for the genuineness of Polish arts and traditions. After collaborating in many different troupes and ballets (Poland, England, France), Bernard Smialek is a dancer and instructor at the French National Popular Ballet where he works on popular dances of diverse French regions.
In 1986, he settled in Strasbourg where he teaches Polish and French popular dances within his activities at the Louis Pasteur University. A common passion for Alsatian folklore had him meet with R.Schneider, Alsatian choreographer and ethnographer, and undertake historical researches underlining similarities between Alsatian and Polish folklores (Polka, Mazurka, Rheinländer, Warsawian…). Authentical and ancient bounds between Strasbourg, the heart of Europe, and the area of Poznan let Bernard Smialek meet with Jedrek Kosmicki, an ethnologist who graduated from the Poznan University. From their collaboration is born the Polish Popular Dances Workshop « Wiosna w Szamotulach », gathering - around Polish popular arts and traditions - dancers and musicians from diverse origins. Thanks to their collaboration, Bernard Smialek could work with Janina Foltyn, choreographer and specialist of the arts and traditions from the area of Szamotuly, and who granted him the privilege, in 1992, to become the Honorary President of the Polish Popular Dances Workshop « Wiosna w Szamotulach », handing him down a suite of 18 original and genuine Polish popular dances, along with a collection of costumes of her native area.
A new enthusiastic encounter in 1991 with Janina Marcinkowa enriched the repertoire of P.P.D.W. « Wiosna w Szamotulach » with a suite of 12 dances from the area of Cieszyn and 8 dances from the region of Beskid Slask, along with a personal donation of costumes.
The current learning of dances from the area of Rzeszow, whilst completing the repertoire of the P.P.D.W.« Wiosna w Szamotulach » enables Bernard Smialek to respect the engagements he made towards his family and the choreographers who helped him in his studies, to promote popular and authentic folklore, while respecting polish tradition.
Bernard Smialek dirige ou accompagne plusieurs ensembles folfloriques :