Born in 1956, Krzysztof Pastor began his ballet training with the Polish National Ballet School in his hometown of Gdansk. After his training he joined the Dance Theatre in Poznan and four years later he moved to the Grand Theatre of Lodz.
In 1983, Pastor became a soloist with the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon in France, dancing ballets by Gray Veredon, Hans van Manen and Kurt Jooss, among others. From 1985 to 1995, he danced with the Dutch National Ballet, working with many well-known choreographers such as Carolyn Carlson, Rudi van Dantzig, Nacho Duato, Édouard Lock, Hans van Manen, Maguy Marin and Toer van Schayk. He danced major roles in classical and neoclassical ballets, as well as modern dance works.
Pastor choreographed his first work in 1986 for an international gala in Lodz, and went on to create several ballets for the Dutch National Ballet’s workshop programmes. In 1992, he created his first piece for the company’s regular programme: the successful Shostakovich Chamber Symphony.
Pastor has since gained considerable recognition as an international choreographer. To date, he has created nearly fifty ballets, including the highly acclaimed Do not go gentle … and In Light and Shadow, and the large-scale, full-length productions Kurt Weill, Tristan, Dangerous Liaisons and Don Giovanni, as well as Symphony Fantastic for the Australian Ballet. In 2001, Kurt Weill was nominated for the prestigious international Benois de la Danse award in no fewer than three categories.
In 2003, Pastor was appointed resident choreographer of the Dutch National Ballet. In this capacity, he created Si después de morir, Voice, Don Giovanni, Crossing Paths, Suite for Two, Visions at Dusk and Moving Rooms, premiered in June 2008 in the Holland Festival programme In Space. In 2009, he created his own version of Scheherazade for the programme 100 years of Les Ballets Russes, which was also part of the Holland Festival. In 2010, he created the full-length Nijinsky – Dancer, Clown, God.
Alongside his work for the Dutch National Ballet, Pastor has created ballets for many companies abroad, such as the national ballet companies of Latvia and Lithuania, The Washington Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet and the Royal Flemish Ballet. In December 2007, Pastor was invited by the Bolshoi Ballet to work with prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova. His version of Romeo and Juliet was premiered in 2008 by Scottish Ballet in Edinburgh. In 2009, the Polish National Ballet presented his work Tristan, which he had previously created for the Swedish Royal Ballet.
In 1995, Pastor’s ballet Detail IV won the Gold Choreography Prize at the Helsinki International Ballet Competition. In 2000, he was awarded the Medal of Service by the Polish Ministry of Culture, and the Dansersfonds ’79 presented him with the Choreography Prize in the same year.
In March 2009, Pastor was appointed director of the Polish National Ballet. He combines this position with his work as resident choreographer of the Dutch National Ballet.
Krzysztof Pastor has been awarded a Gloria Artis Gold Medal for service to culture for his choreographic achievements around the world and for his artistic and organizational effort to raise the prestige of ballet art in Poland. He received the medal from Minister of Culture and National Heritage Bogdan Zdrojewski on 22nd of June 2011. The Gloria Artis Gold Medal is most important Polish award in the Arts - for service to culture which is granted to individuals who have contributed in a special way to the arts, cultural activity or to protecting national culture and heritage.