Royston Maldoom, Artistic director and choreographer
Royston Maldoom is the founder of community dance and various dance projects around the world. He has initiated numerous dance projects in different countries and cooperated with a lot of dancers, regardless of gender, colors, races, social backgrounds or talents in dancing. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) by Queen Elisabeth II for his outstanding social activities and artistic workpieces.
“Dancing together, we grow together, opening the way to change while reaffirming our communality!”
Josef Eder, Co-Choreographer and rehearsal director
Josef Eder has headed various youth dance projects across the globe. After attending the “Domspatzen” School in Regensburg, he sailed across the world and obtained a degree in agriculture. After meeting the choreographer James Saunders, he discovered his passion for dance. Eder trained as a dancer in Cologne and New York and then worked as a freelance dancer and choreographer.
In 1996 he was awarded the Dance Theater Prize of Cologne for his company, “Tanztheater Zwiefach”. In 2000 he took up acting and worked as a stage actor as well as in various series for Bavarian TV. For 20 years, Eder has worked as an instructor and coach, giving workshops and seminars for dancers, actors, musicians, and teachers. He is also active as a trainer in the private sector. Meeting Royston Maldoom brought him back to his roots and to working again at a community level. Since 2005 he has been working “Community Dance”-projects throughout Germany as well as in Austria, Luxembourg, Romania, Russia, Ethiopia, Palestine and Switzerland. As certified outdoor-trainer he works to combine dance, theatre and nature, in 2012 following an invitation from “Educo Africa” to lead workshops and lectures in Capetown’s townships as well as “leadership and self-development courses” in the “Groot Winterhoek Mountains”.
Mia Sophia Bilitza, Choreographer and rehearsal director
In 2010 Mia began assisting Royston Maldoom and others worldwide in the field of community dance. As a freelance choreographer, she creates pieces for different age and ability groups in and outside Germany. 2014 she has been curator for dance and chief choreographer in the international art festival new talents biennale cologne and has been training the professional dance company “El Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe” as well as their junior dance group this summer.
Pete Ayres, Lighting Designer
Pete Ayres graduated with a B.A. (Hons.) in Technical Theatre Arts, specialising in Lighting Design. He has worked extensively in the field of Contemporary Dance, designing for Royston Maldoom for more than 15 years.
Pete has worked in a variety of venues – from African amphitheatres, Berlin bus depots, Croatian castles and metropolitan motorways to nationally important playhouses such as The Royal Albert Hall, The Place Theatre and The South Bank (London), Schauspielhaus (Hamburg), The Cultural Centre, Kaunas (Lithuania), and Addis Ababa City Hall (Ethiopia). He has been involved in several Community Dance projects – including orchestral productions with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Carnegie Hall in New York, among others – often including hundreds of participants, ranging from street children in Peru and groups of mixed ability performers, to Senior Citizens of Germany and young women of immigrant families.
Zhang Guoyong, Conductor
Zhang Guoyong began his study in conducting at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music under the direction of the famous conductor Prof. Huang Xiaotong. In 1993, he was transferred by the government to study at the Moscow State Conservatory named after Tchaikovsky, where he studied under the world famous conductor G. Rozhdestvensky. He was the artistic director of the Shanghai Opera House and is Professor and Dean of Conducting Department of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
He has cooperated with many orchestras and well-known musicians both at home and abroad. Apart from the symphonic repertoires, he also conducted numerous operas, such as Rigoletto, Don Pasquale, Madame Butterfly, La Bohème; La Traviata, Otello, Operas from Wagner, ballets like Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote. Nutcracker, Cantatas like Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Mozart’s Requiem, Song of the Forest, Stabat Mater, Carmina Burana, and so on.
In 2006, he was invited to be a member of jury of the 8th Cadaques Orchestra International Conducting Competition in Spain.
Knara Ghazaryan, Pianist: Prelude
Knara Ghazaryan was born in Armenia to a family of musicians and enjoyed a traditional Russian piano education at the Tchaikovsky Special Music School in Erivan, Armenia. From 1981 to 1984 she lived with her parents abroad in Cuba.
After participating in a piano competition in Lithuania 1991 she was invited to study at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University of Music and Theatre in Leipzig, Germany. From 1992 to 2000 she completed her Master in Musical Education and Postgraduate Master as Solo Pianist with highest honours in Leipzig, Germany. In addition, prominent Professors like Solomon Mikowsky, Russel Sherman, Ramzi Yassa and Christian Zacharias invited her to their Master Classes.
Amongst other awards Knara was the prize-winner of the National Competition in La Havana (1984) and New Names National Competition (1990) in Erivan, Armenia.
Since 1982 Knara has given several concerts as solo pianist and chamber musician in Armenia, Cuba, France, Germany, and Spain. Furthermore, Knara worked as official accompanist of the Montserrat Caballe & Bernabe Marti competition in Zaragoza, Spain from 2003 to 2005. Since 2003 she also has been working as teacher for piano.
Michael Schumacher, Solo dance
Michael Schumacher is a leading figure in the discipline of improvisation. His excellent movement quality is paired with an artful sensitiveness and imaginative spirit. He uses his mastery to enter into a dialogue with his immediate surrounding – including stage set, other performers and audience. The environment is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for his improvisation artwork.
At many occasions Michael has used his exceptional dance skills to jointly perform with outstanding musicians. Michael’s work has been presented at theaters and festivals, among others at La Biennale de la Danse in Lyon, at the STEPS Festival in Switzerland (2006 and 2010) and for numerous occasions at the Holland Dance Festival in Den Haag. He is at high demand for conducting workshops in movement analysis and improvisation techniques worldwide.
Michael began dancing in musical theatre productions in his hometown of Lewiston, Idaho. After moving to New York, he received a B.F.A. in Dance from the Juilliard School. Since 1996 Michael resides in Amsterdam.
The legend of the ballet is based on Russian folk tale. Prince Ivan becomes lost in the magical forest of the sorcerer Kastchei, who can turn intruders into stone. Seeing the Firebird plucking golden apples from a tree, Ivan captures her but frees her when she gives him a feather that has magic powers.
Later enchanted princesses appear. Ivan watches them dancing and playing with the golden apples. They warn him about Kastchei, who attempts to work his spell on Ivan, but the Prince is protected by the Firebird’s feather.
The Firebird causes Kastchei and his followers to dance wildly until they drop exhausted.
The prince destroys the egg that contains the sorcerer’s immortality. Kastchei dies.
His stoned captives come to life; and Ivan takes the loveliest of the Princesses in marriage.
Harmony Shanghai • Culture & Art Communication Co.,Ltd.
Pilot Free Trade Zone Fu Te Bei Lu 225 H09, Shanghai 200131