In the dance studio of The Rite of Spring, Berlin, Germany.
“Have you every danced? On the stage? No?”, Royston Maldoom asked.
“No,” Students replied.
“So you look very scared”, Royston Maldoom said.
In 2003, the famous British choreographer Royston Maldoom, with Berliner Philharmoniker, made a great attempt about community dance. In this project, leading 250 young people from 25 countries, they accomplished an unprecedented modern dance performance—The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky, the famous Russian composer. At the same time, they recorded the documentary Rhythm is it!, which won Lola awards as the Best Documentary in Germany and then gained wide popularity around the world.
In 2012, Christa Kröger-Wang, the founder of Harmony Shanghai, initiated the community dance project in China, and Royston Maldoom was invited to direct The Firebird (a famous work of famous Russian composer Stravinsky). After performed in Shanghai Grand Theatre in October 2012, the community dance Firebird gained a resounding success. Since then, Harmony Shanghai has acted as the production company for the international community dance projects produced under its name. The modern dances, directed by Royston Maldoom and recreated by his team Mia Sophia Bilitza and Volker Eisenach, are performed for audiences every two years.
Carmina Burana at Shanghai Poly Grand Theatre in 2016
The Rite of Spring at Shanghai Oriental Art Center in 2014
Firebird at Shanghai Grand Theatre in 2012 was recreated by Mia Sophia Bilitza and Josef Eder
This year, Harmony Shanghai has prepared the fourth community dance project — The Four Seasons, a work by the famous Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi. The dance follows the choroegraphy by Royston Maldoom; recreated by Mia Sophia Bilitza and Volker Eisenach and two co choreographers Yang Guang and Yu Chien Cheng.
This year’s project involves the joint performance of young musicians from the Dragonfly Chamber Orchestra, two famous professionals, Bin Huang (Violin) and Alexander Suleiman (Cello) and the German conductor Christian von Gehren. The dancing chorus includes around 160 participants, with various backgrounds:
nearly 70 Chinese students from Shanghai Dazhong Technical School, Shanghai Commercial Accounting School, some students of other Chinese schools, the children of rural migrant workers and also disabled kids from another special school
around 70 international students from Deutsche Schule Shanghai Hongqiao, Deutsche Schule Shanghai Pudong, Lycée Français de Shanghai (Pudong and Hongqiao) and British International School Shanghai Puxi
10 adults including an adult with intellectual disability, who is an employee of Taicang Inclusion Factory
The project lasted over a period of six weeks. Training sessions of more than 120 hours in total have been planned and took place on 4 weekends, starting from 9th of September till the middle of October, plus the entire Golden Week of October Holiday 2018. The students had lived and trained together on the campus of a Chinese School during the Golden Week Holidays.
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.
“We can dance with anyone, anywhere, at any time regardless of their experience, age, gender, social or ethnic background.”
Volker Eisenach, Choreographer and rehearsal director
Volker Eisenach is a freelance choreographer, youth dance director and writer and has been leading international dance project for over 20 years. Since 2003 he has worked extensively with his former teacher Royston Maldoom for projects in Europe, North America and New Zealand.
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.
Cora Kartmann, Choreographic Assistant
Cora Kartmann was born in 1992 in Seeheim-Jugenheim by Darmstadt, Germany. She started dancing ballet early on and created her first dance project for children. After moving to Berlin in 2010, she joined Volker Eisenachs Faster-Than-Light-Dance-Company as a dancer and choreographer.
In 2012 she danced as part of the Let’s Dance project for Royston Maldoom at the Dresdner Musikfestspiele. In 2013 Cora began studying at the Dance Academy balance1 and graduated successfully as a professional stage dancer in 2016. Since then she has started her study in Contemporary Dance Education at the Music and Arts University of the city Vienna. The focus of her study lies in teaching dance, technique training in the style of Rosalia Chladek and choreography.
Yu-Chien Cheng (Zoe), Co Choreographer
Yu-Chien is a multidisciplinary performing artist, choreographer and educator. Her interests include contemporary dance, theater, dance/body and new media, and improvisation.
She was trained in Taiwan, United Stated and now has settled her base in Shanghai. Her works are influenced by many Western and Eastern dance styles, and cultures. While she studied her MFA in the Long Island University, New York, she worked with Chen & Dancers and also in collaboration with several multimedia artists.
Yu-Chien first engaged in Contact Improvisation was in college, and later she worked with Ku & Dancers Dance Company. Her dance practice is mainly inspired by Contact Improvisation, Contemporary dance, Chinese dance, Ballet and theater. Yu-Chien has deeply involved in Creative Movement, Improvisation, and Contact Improvisation. She has taught in many institutions in Taiwan (Cloud Gate dance school), United State (Chen dance center), and China (Baby read, American Apollo Academy, Shanghai Culture Square, Mind Sprout Academy). In 2016, Yu-Chien founded her dance company “Inch Dance” which is dedicated to promoting contemporary dance, creative movement, contact improvisation, movement research and dance theater.
Yang Guang, Co Choreographer
Yang Guang is the International Program Manager of the Great Theatre of China. With the scientific background in medical research technology, skills in international cooperation, developing strategy for commercial and non-profit sector, Yang Guang has a history of management for over 15 years.
From the year of 2010, Yang Guang started to work as freelance interpreter, liaison and consultant for art projects and got involved with various organizations and companies, including Shanghai Jingxing Dance Theatre, National Theatre of China, National Theatre (UK), Shanghai Dramatic Art Centre, and Wuzhen Theatre Festival, and also had cooperation with many independent artists. During the year from 2012 to 2016, he worked with Harmony Shanghai and Choreographer Royston Maldoom and supported three community dance projects Firebird, Le Sacre du Printemps and Carmina Burana, which involved approximately 500 international and domestic youngsters. Since 2016 Yang Guang has been working for charity projects supporting underprivileged children both financially and educationally and carried out children-centered art projects in rural areas. In 2017 he cofounded Art|A|Part with Sophie Renier and produced series of work Time Repository.
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.
Christian von Gehren, Conductor
Christian von Gehren, born 1972, comes from a German-Danish background and studied at Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe and Det Kongelig Danske Musikkonservatorium Copenhagen in the main subjects conducting, piano and musical theory. He obtained his diplomas with honours at both academies. His conducting teachers were Wolf-Dieter Hauschild and Michel Tabachnik.
From 2001 to 2003 Christian von Gehren was Musical Director at the Opera Leipzig. In this period he restructured the opera’s ensemble and performed in addition to the standard opera repertoire Mendelssohn’s only opera “Die Hochzeit des Camacho” with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig in a concert version. This rediscovery had a great acclaim in the musical press and was broadcasted by the Berlin radio Deutschlandradio Kultur.
Since 2004 Christian von Gehren has been working as guest conductor in many European countries and has appeared with orchestras like Malmö Symfoniorkester, Munich Radio Orchestra and with opera theatres like Dortmund and Thessaloniki.
In 2005 he conducted Bohuslav Martinů’s opera “Greek Passion” in a production of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in Brno/Czechia. For his conducting Christian von Gehren was named Conductor of the Year by the Czech Critics. From 1999 to 2007 Christian von Gehren had a close collaboration with the Bregenz Festival: He conducted the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in productions like Puccini‘s “La Bohème“ and “Tosca“. In 2007 he also conducted a concert with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in the Konzerthaus Wien. At the age of 21 Christian von Gehren made his debut as an opera conductor with Carl Maria von Weber’s “Der Freischütz“ at the Zwingenberg Festival. Still being a student he started his conducting career and was as Korrepetitor und Assistant Conductor to Ulf Schirmer working with the Danish National Radio Orchestra Copenhagen and at the Bastille Opera Paris. He also was Assistant Conductor to Heinz Fricke, Michael Schønwandt, Marcello Viotti und Alberto Zedda. As a pianist he accompanied the Master Classes of Renata Scotto and Christa Ludwig as well as numerous Lied recitals.
Further engagements brought him to the Symphony Orchestras in Copenhagen, Aarhus and Aalborg, the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden,to the Operas of Copenhagen, Montpellier and Nizza and during a longer period of cooperation to the Opera Marseille. From 2000 to 2003 Christian von Gehren was Musical Director of the CNIPAL Marseille, the largest Opera Academy in France.
Christian von Gehren also conducts contemporary music and is regularly invited for productions with the Munich Radio Orchestra featuring German contemporary composers. The recordings of those productions have been broadcasted by the Bayerischer Rundfunk. In addition, Christian von Gehren recorded a CD with contemporary music for children by the German composer Franz Kanefzky, also with the Munich Radio Orchestra. He was also invited to conduct several ensembles for contemporary music in Scandinavia, Germany and France, among others Bit20 (Bergen, Norway) and Bodø Sinfonietta (Bodø, Norway).
Since 2009 Christian von Gehren has been the Musical Director of the “Orff-Akademie des Münchner Rundfunkorchesters“ and since 2010 conducting at the Carl Orff Festival Andechs / Bavaria. In 2011 he conducted a CD-production of “Sommernachtstraum“ by Carl Orff which was highly acclaimed by the critics.
In 2011 Christian von Gehren conducted “Carmina Burana“ and “Die Kluge“ at the Carl Orff Festival. This collaboration continued in 2012 with a new production of “Die Bernauerin“ and again “Die Kluge“, followed in 2013 by “Bernauerin“ and “Carmina Burana“, in 2014 additionally by “Catulli Carmina“. In 2015 Christian von Gehren conducted “Der Mond” and “Astutuli”.
Bin Huang, Violin
Bin Huang endeared herself to the musical world when at age fourteen she won the Junior Wieniawski International Violin Competition in Lublin, Poland, sharing First Prize with Maxim Vengerov. She has maintained international prominence, winning both the Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa, Italy, and the Munich (ARD) International Music Competition in Munich, Germany. Bin Huang has been universally lauded for her interpretive and technical skills, hailed as “a winner in what matters the most” (The Washington Post) and “a talent that leaves a listener flabbergasted.” (The Sun, Baltimore)
Bin Huang’s concert career has taken her throughout the world, performing with leading orchestras at prestigious venues. She was an artist jury member in the 12th Stradivari Violin Making Competition in Cremona, Italy, and a jury member in the 53rd and 55th Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa, Italy.
Bin Huang holds Bachelor of Music degree and Artist Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Eastman School of Music. Bin Huang has taught as a violin professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Eastman School of Music. In the fall of 2018, Bin Huang will be the Chair of the Orchestra Department at the China Conservatory in Beijing.
Alexander Suleiman, Cello
Alexander Suleiman has won numerous competitions not only with his main instrument but also as a pianist in Germany, Spain, the USA and Korea. He has been concertizing with well-known orchestras throughout the world and honored with an appointment as artistic director of the Art Conquers Borders Academy in Bremen, Germany. His duties commenced with a solo concert at the German House of Congress in Berlin.
Following his position as a professor of cello at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles for numerous years, Mr. Suleiman has accepted the position as a professor of cello at the Soochow University School of Music in China and is the guest professor at the Zhejiang Music Conservatory. He gives master classes worldwide and is a frequent member of jury panels in international competitions.
CD recordings have been released on Naxos, TYXart, MDG, and Guild Music, and include traditional repertoire as well as world premiere recordings of contemporary music. In addition, in several Atavistic Music CDs he presents his improvisational skills which have gained high critical acclaim and have been nominated for the German Record Critics’ Award.
Alexander Suleiman is Artistic Director of the Sommerakademie Neuburg for Classical Music, a festival in Germany that celebrates it’s 40th anniversary. His 2018/2019 season includes performances as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, and the USA.
Shengming Liang, Concertmaster
After serving as artistic of Dragonfly International Violin Festival in 2017, violinist Shengming Liang continued to serve the same position at Dragonfly International Music Festival and Preliminary Round of Oleh Krysa Violin Competition in Tianjin 2018. Besides giving masterclass and lecture, Dr. Shengming Liang also judge the competition, such Oleh Krysa violin competition and Tianjin Music Competition.
In 2005, Shengming Liang entered the Music High School Attached to Tianjin Conservatory Of Music with distinction. He had been awarded with “The excellent young musician scholarship” for three times and won several competitions. He is awarded “Howard Hansen Scholarship” and enrolled into Eastman School of Music in USA, under tutorship of world-celebrated violinist, Oleh Krysa. Shengming Liang started to serve Teaching Assistant of Bin Huang when he is completing his M.M and D.M.A degree at Eastman School of Music, later on he teaches secondary violin lesson at Eastman while became Teaching Assistant of Oleh Krysa.
Dr. Shengming has played at many venues in Europe, Asia and American, including Hatch Music Hall and Kilbourn Hall in USA, Tianjin Grand Theater, Jinwan Grand Theater, Xuzhou Music Hall in China, Neuburg City Hall, Germany. He collaborated with many artists, including Oleh Krysa, Bin Huang, Giovanni Angeleri, Jiafeng Chen, Peter Serkin, Alexander Suleiman Daniel Ungar and others.
Tiffany Pattinson, Costume designer
Tiffany Pattinson is a sustainable designer from Hong Kong that focuses on sustainability in nature and culture with a mission to preserve both in an ethical way. Her name-sake label is known for combining traditional craftsmanship with sustainable design techniques to create high quality eco-friendly products by collaborating with craftsmen from tribes to innovate.
Founded as a social enterprise, the brand aims to empower the minorities in the society with educational programs on design and trading while inspiring consumers to live sustainably by providing eco alternatives on fashion & lifestyle products ranging from garments, shoes and accessories to furniture, travel gears and beauty care products through in-brand innovations and cross-brand collaborations.
Since 2012, the brand has been invited to showcase in fashion weeks and charity events in Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York, London and Paris while being featured on TV, magazines and malls, such as Ecozine, Global times, K11, ICS and Style China. Tiffany Pattinson was invited as the representative of China to showcase in the 40th Anniversary of Mission of China to EU in Brussels in 2015 as well as being the muse of BMW in 2017.
Shanghai Dazhong Technical School 上海大众工业学校
British International School Shanghai Puxi 上海英国国际学校浦西校区
Hok Yung Lee
Nicole Joohyun Lee
Xu Ting Sun
Deutsche Schule Shanghai Hongqiao 上海德国学校虹桥校区
Tatiana Maria Koprivnik Espinosa
Han Henry Luo
Ida Marie Santel
Jens Paul Yang
Deutsche Schule Shanghai Pudong 上海德国学校浦东校区
Lilly Maria Dahlke
Isa Wenxi Grosse-Ruyken
Rike Sophie Heineken
Nilay Sahira Kaya
Lili Sophie Kreuder
Lycée Français de Shanghai 上海法国学校
Diane de Prat
Romane de Prat
Pola Gilbert de Vautibault
Shanghai Commercial Accounting School 上海商业会计学校
Other Dancers 其他舞者
Min Cai 蔡敏
Tian Tong 佟天
Wei Wu 吴炜
Yu Ling Zheng 郑育玲
Yan Liu 刘彦
Ting Rui Zhang 张庭瑞
Hui Wang 王慧
Xin Pen 彭欣
An Wang 王安
Rui Jie Zhang 张睿杰
Yi Bing Zhao 赵一兵
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
More than 300 years ago, Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) was born in Venice, a romantic Italian water town and a great cultural centre for music and other forms of culture. He has shown his musical talent since he was a child. When he was only 12 years old, he was able to replace his father as a violinist on various performances. As the eldest son of the family, Vivaldi was destined for the priesthood and at the age of 25 he became a priest. Because of his hair color, inherited from his father, he was called “the red-haired priest”.
In 1703 he was hired as a violin teacher by the “Ospedale della Pieta”, an orphanage for girls in Venice. This work was very rewarding for Vivaldi, because the orphanage not only had a large collection of instruments, the girls also loved music as much as he himself. He is publicly recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, with his influence during his lifetime widely spreading across Europe. The most important achievement of Vivaldi is the creation of instrumental concertos (especially violin concertos), as well as sacred hymns and operas. One of the most famous masterpieces is the Violin Concerto of the Four Seasons, which he composed for the “Ospedale della Pieta”. Vivaldi wrote nearly 500 concertos, more than 230 of which are for violin solo. The bassoon was his second favorite instrument, about which he wrote 39 concertos. There are also 55 accompaniment concertos and nearly 21 indoor concertos (“No Band Concerto”). Later generations also used to call him “King of Concerto”. Vivaldi turned the solo concerto into the best form of Baroque music. In 1940, Vivaldi’s work was rediscovered. French music researcher Mark Binsley and other collectors bought a lot of manuscripts in the 1930s and 1940s. These manuscripts had been hidden in places like castles and monasteries for more than 200 years.
Vivaldi’s influence is not only found in Northern Italy but also apparent in Germany. John George Pissen applied Vivaldi’s technique to the court. The style of Johann Sebastian Bach once developed to a deeper level under the impact of Vivaldi. He also adapted Vivaldi’s works for harpsichord and organ.
Antonio Vivaldi died in poverty, 63 years old, in Austria/Vienna.
Springtime is upon us. The birds celebrate her return with festive song,
and murmuring streams are
softly caressed by the breezes.
Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar,
casting their dark mantle over heaven,
Then they die away to silence,
and the birds take up their charming songs once more.
On the flower-strewn meadow, with leafy branches
rustling overhead, the goat-herd sleeps,
his faithful dog beside him.
Led by the festive sound of rustic bagpipes,
nymphs and shepherds lightly dance
beneath the brilliant canopy of spring.
Under a hard season, fired up by the sun
Languishes man, languishes the flock and burns the pine
We hear the cuckoo’s voice;
then sweet songs of the turtledove and finch are heard.
Soft breezes stir the air, but threatening
the North Wind sweeps them suddenly aside.
The shepherd trembles,
fearing violent storms and his fate.
Adagio e piano – Presto e forte
The fear of lightning and fierce thunder
Robs his tired limbs of rest
As gnats and flies buzz furiously around.
Alas, his fears were justified
The Heavens thunder and roar and with hail
Cut the head off the wheat and damages the grain.
Celebrates the peasant, with songs and dances,
The pleasure of a bountiful harvest.
And fired up by Bacchus’ liquor,
many end their revelry in sleep.
Everyone is made to forget their cares and to sing and dance
By the air which is tempered with pleasure
And (by) the season that invites so many, many
Out of their sweetest slumber to fine enjoyment
The hunters emerge at the new dawn,
And with horns and dogs and guns depart upon their hunting
The beast flees and they follow its trail;
Terrified and tired of the great noise
Of guns and dogs, the beast, wounded, threatens
Languidly to flee, but harried, dies.
To tremble from cold in the icy snow,
In the harsh breath of a horrid wind;
To run, stamping one’s feet every moment,
Our teeth chattering in the extreme cold
Before the fire to pass peaceful,
Contented days while the rain outside pours down.
We tread the icy path slowly and cautiously,
for fear of tripping and falling.
Then turn abruptly, slip, crash on the ground and,
rising, hasten on across the ice lest it cracks up.
We feel the chill north winds course through the home
despite the locked and bolted doors…
this is winter, which nonetheless
brings its own delights.
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