Nik Haffner has been the artistic director of HZT Berlin since 2012. As a dancer and choreographer, Nik Haffner realised projects that mostly emerged from collaborations with other artists (including Christina Ciupke and Mart Kangro). His interest in collaboration and interdisciplinary exchange lead him to mediation and education projects. He worked as a guest teacher at schools including P.A.R.T.S. Brussels and Trinity Laban, and also as a Mentor in the K3 Hamburg residence program and as part of the project ensemble of Tanzlabor_21 in Frankfurt/Main. After finishing his dance education at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt and at the Australian Ballet School, Melbourne, Nik Haffner joined Ballett Frankfurt under William Forsythe in 1994. Between 1994-1999 he developed the digital publication “Improvisation Technologies, and went on to work on the online score “Seven Duets” for the platform MotionBank.org with Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion from 2012-13. Nik Haffner is a member of the advisory board for Dance Congress Germany and the head speaker of the AK|T Dance Training Conference Germany.
Jason Beechey has been the Rector of the Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden since 2006. Having trained at Canada’s National Ballet School, the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg and the School of American Ballet in New York, he danced as a Soloist for the London City Ballet and then fifteen years with Charleroi/Danses in Belgium. Parallel to this, he was the Pedagogical Director for the Choreographic Centre of the Federation Wallonia-Brussels, founded and ran his own studio, The Loft, and was the creator/coordinator of the D.A.N.C.E. Program under the Artistic Direction of Frédéric Flamand, William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor and Angelin Preljocaj. Joining the Prix de Lausanne as a Member of the Artistic Committee in 2009, he continues his involvement there and is also a regular jury Member for the Youth America Grand Prix.
Rosemary Helliwell is presently Acting Director of the Academy of Dance of the state funded Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts, having been previously the Deputy Head of the dance department under Prof. Birgit Keil. She has also been an active jury member of the Choreographic Center Heidelberg for several years. After studying dance in England at the Doreen Bird College and at the John Cranko School Stuttgart, she began her career as a dancer with the Stuttgart Ballet. After her first choreographic works for the young choreographers’ Noverre Society in Stuttgart, she went on to choreograph for Márcia Haydée and became resident choreographer of the Stuttgart Ballet. Rosemary Helliwell has also choreographed ballets for the London City Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre (Manchester), National Ballet of Finland, National Ballet of Peru, Irish National Ballet, City Contemporary Dance Company Hong Kong, Ballet Philipines (Manila), Ballet St. Gallen (Switzerland), Ballet of the City of Koblenz, Ballet of the National Theatre Mannheim, Ballet of the Kiel Opera House, Dance Foundation Birgit Keil, and for the Ballet of the Landestheater Coburg.
Anna Urban (Polikarpova) was born in Tomsk, Russia and studied at the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg. In 1988 she joined the Mariinsky Ballet and became a soloist in 1989. In 1992 she joined the Hamburg Ballet as a Soloist and was promoted to Principal in 1994. John Neumeier created numerous roles and soli for her including Penelope in »Odyssee«, Ophelia in »Hamlet«, Romola Nijinska in »Nijinsky« and Arkadina in »The Seagull«. The Swedish choreographer Mats Ek created for her »Meinungslose Weiden« and Gold Fairy in »The Sleeping Beauty«. She also danced a wide-ranging repertory. After her education as a ballet teacher in Toronto at the Canada‘s National Ballet School under the supervision of Mavis Staines, Anna Urban teaches classical dance at the School of the Hamburg Ballet since the 2014/15 season.
Christian Schön is from Hamburg and successfully completed his training at the School of the Hamburg Ballet. As a dancer he was part of the Dortmund Ballet, the Bonn Opera and the Ballet Theater Hagen. After his education as a ballet teacher in Toronto at Canada‘s National Ballet School, he worked in Maastricht, Netherlands. Since 2003 he has been teaching the elementary and intermediate boys and the Theatre Class boys, as well as pas de deux in the School of the Hamburg Ballet.. He was a guest teacher at the Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden.
Leslie Hughes was born in Atlanta, USA. She studied ballet in her hometown and in New York at the American Ballet Center (school of the Joffrey Ballet) and School of American Ballet Theater. She was offered her first contract with the Hamburg Ballet where she advanced to Demi-Soloist. She also performed in Tours, France, with the Atlanta Ballet and with the Stadtheater Bern in Switzerland. In 2002 Leslie completed her certificate for teaching the Vaganov-Method from the Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest. She taught first at thae École de Danse de Genève and then moved on as ballet mistress with ballettmainz, where she assisted Martin Schläpfer by numerous creations as well as rehearsing ballets from Hans van Manen, George Balanchine, Kurt Jooss and many others. She also taught at the Conservatory in Vienna from 2005 to 2013. Since 2013 Leslie Hughes has been part of the teaching faculty of the School of the Hamburg Ballet.
Carolina Borrajo was born in Zaragoza, Spain. She was trained at the Marìa de Ávila Ballet School in her native town and at the School of the Hamburg Ballet. After her first engagement at the Ballet Classico de Zaragoza, she was a Soloist at Bonn Opera, at the Hessian State Theatre Wiesbaden and at the Lucerne Theatre. She received her diploma as a children‘s dance teacher and stage dance teacher at the State University of Performing Arts in Mannheim. In August 2008 she took up a position on the teaching faculty of the School of the Hamburg Ballet.
Stephan Brinkmann is Professor for Contemporary Dance at the Folkwang University of the Arts Essen. He is a dancer, choreographer, teacher and author. He studied dance at the Folkwang University, theatre-, film- and media science, German language and sociology at the University of Cologne and Dance Pedagogy in Essen. He danced for the Folkwang Tanzstudio and the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. In addition, he created numerous choreographies and taught contemporary dance worldwide. He holds a PhD in movement science from the University of Hamburg. Topic: types of memory in dance. (Publication: »Bewegung erinnern. Gedächtnisformen im Tanz« (2013)).
David Russo teaches since 2010 ballet and contemporary dance at the Ballet Academy of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München. He has been a member of the collective satellit produktion since 2013. After completing his training at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart, he danced as a soloist at the Saarländische Staatstheater and at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz under the direction of Philip Taylor. Russo choreographs his own pieces, organises events in Munich’s freelance scene and collaborates with artists such as Jasmine Morand from Cie Prototype Status and Nina Radelfahr. He is founder of the dancer initiative TanzQuelle, a new space for creation and exchange in the free scene of Munich.
Omar Rajeh is the artistic director of Maqamat, founder of BIPOD and founder and artistic director of Citerne Beirut. He is a critically acclaimed choreographer and dancer as well as a leading figure of contemporary dance in the Arab World. Based in Beirut, Omar Rajeh | Maqamat has performed over 19 choreographic works in major European, regional and international theatres and festivals.