Robert Bondara is a Polish dancer, choreographer, and teacher and was for many years a dancer with the Polish National Ballet. In 2018, Robert was appointed Artistic Director of the Poznań Opera Ballet in Poland.
Robert is a graduate of the Feliks Parnell State Ballet School in Łódź, the Warsaw School of Economics and the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, where he continues to work as a teacher, and Warsaw School of Economics. He began his career performing with the Music Theatre in Łódź and later moved to the Grand Theatre in Poznań. In 2005 he joined the Polish National Opera Ballet and in 2008 also began working with Aleksandra Dziurosz’s Warsaw Dance Theatre.
He received the 2nd prize (no 1st prize was awarded) and the special prize of the Witold Lutoslawski Society at the Bronislava Nijinska National Choreography Competition in Warsaw (2008) and Jan Kiepura Award in the category The Best Choreographer in 2011 in Poland. He also participated in the International Competition for Choreographers in Hannover in 2013 and 2015. More recently, he won Le Prix de Biarritz award in Emergent Choreographers Contest in Bordeaux (2018). In 2018. That same year, he received the Jan Kiepura Award in three categories: The Best Choreographer for Świtezianka with Polish National Ballet and The Best Director and The Best Performance in Poland for his first opera The Baltic Legend. He has also been awarded The Brown Medal for ‘Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis’.
Robert began to choreograph for the Polish National Ballet’s Choreographic Workshops, many of which went on to be presented in the chamber repertoire of the company. As a guest choreographer he has staged works in Poland an abroad, including Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Vilnius, Company E in Washington (USA), Kielce Dance Theater (Poland), Opera Nova Ballet in Bydgoszcz (Poland), Wroclaw Opera Ballet (Poland), Poznan Opera Ballet (Poland), Silesian Opera House in Bytom (Poland), and for Polish National Ballet.
His choreography has been presented around the globe at galas and festivals, including at the 43rd International Dance Festival in Kuopio, Finland; the Polish Dance Competition in Gdańsk; Didura Festival in Sanok; at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre; Dance Salad Festival in Houston, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, Dancing Poznan - XIII International Dance Theatres Festival, Roberto Bolle and Friends Galas throughout Italy and at gals in Latvia, Slovakia, and in Japan; the Xinjiang International Dance Festival in China, STS Festival in Warsaw and in the programmes of the II – VI Days of Dance Festival in the Polish National Opera.
Born in London, Ihsan trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance and began his professional career at the age of 17, joining Matthew Bourne's Adventures in Motion Pictures. Engagements followed with the Ballett Theater Munich (Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz) and Introdans, in The Netherlands. In 2007, Ihsan moved to Switzerland as a founding member of the Bern Ballet and the Tanz Luzerner Theater. During this period, he originated roles in creations by Wayne McGregor, Hofesh Shechter, Alexander Ekman, Matthew Bourne, Patrick Delcroix, Stijn Celis, Cayetano Soto, Felix Landerer, Cathy Marston and worked with choreographers Mats Ek, Jiri Kylián, Sol Leon / Paul Lightfoot, Hans van Manen and William Forsythe, among others.
In 2010 Sarah Slipper of the Northwest Dance Project invited Ihsan to Portland, Oregon USA, where he created 'State of Matter', a work which received both the 2012 Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest prize and the Audience Choice Award at the 25th International Competition for Choreographers Hannover. His sixth original work for NW Dance Project, Carmen, received Dance Magazine's 2017 Readers' Choice Award for Best Collaboration.
In 2015 Ihsan was appointed Resident Choreographer for NWDP and continues in this position today.
Rustem was the 2014 recipient of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's International Commissioning Project and a featured choreographer for Russia's TV show 'The Bolshoi Ballet'. He is the former Artistic Director of the Dance Art Studio Ballettschule Luzern.
Nederlands Dans Theater selected Ihsan as one of their Upcoming Choreographers for the season 18/19 where he recently premiered a new work for NDT2.
Ihsan has created further the works for NW Dance Project, National Ballet of Chile, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago 2, Istanbul State Ballet MDT, Tanz Luzerner Theater, Kazan State Opera and Ballet, Whim W'Him Seattle, Ballet Regensburg, Ballet Koblenz, Krasnoyarsk State Opera and Ballet Theatre, Würzburg Ballett, Arts Umbrella Dance Co. Vancouver, Salt Contemporary Dance Company, National Youth Dance Company, Aksanat Istanbul, Cinevox Junior Company, Codarts, Zurich HdK and the Palucca Schule Dresden.
Jennifer Owen is the Artistic Director of Owen/Cox Dance Group, an ensemble she co-founded with composer Brad Cox in 2007. She has choreographed over fifty new works for Owen/Cox Dance Group, including two commissions by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and works commissioned by Island Moving Co. of Newport, RI, Kansas City Dance Festival, Kansas City Baroque Consortium, and Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. She has also created nine new works for Kansas City Ballet's In the Wings choreographic workshop, and a winning entry for the 2006 Columbus Choreography Project. Owen is the recipient of a 2000 Princess Grace Honorarium. Prior to founding Owen/Cox Dance Group, Owen enjoyed a 13-year international ballet career. After training with Pacific Northwest Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet School, School of American Ballet, and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, she went on to dance with the Russian State Ballet, Moscow Renaissance Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, BalletMet, and was a guest artist with the National Ballet of Turkmenistan. She has performed principal roles in Giselle, Don Quixote, George Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and Donizetti Variations, and the central pas de deux in Todd Bolender's Arena.