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The Press

(Dance Theatre of Harlem) Robert Bondara’s “Take me With You,” was a wonderful vehicle for Smith and Elias Re. This slick, athletic pas de deux was set to Radiohead’s “Reckoner.” It is very hard to pull off the pairing of popular music with ballet, but Bondara proved himself to be a member of the very small club of choreographers who can manage it, along with Kyle Abraham, Twyla Tharp (sometimes) and William Forsythe....  Bondara also designed the lighting and the chic costumes: unisex white button-down shirts with mini black shorts. Smith and Re showed off their great lines and danced with soul, echoing but not overselling Thom Yorke’s wistful vocals.  - Faye Arthurs, Fjord Magazine, April, 2024.

'(Take Me With You, Dance Theatre of Harlem) - 'As the choreography flickers between sharp and dreamy, the dancers — sleek yet still somehow vulnerable — are swept along by the music. Bondara, a Polish choreographer, makes room for give and take. Even as the dancers roll on the floor or grab each other’s limbs, you get the sense that this is a partnership.

When Smith bends over Re’s chest and taps her fingers on his torso to the beat of the music, he doesn’t flinch but arches backward. “Take Me With You” is both unstuffed and unsentimental: There may be darkness swirling around the world, but they have each other, strangely and endearingly like a modern-day Nick and Nora.' Gia Kourlas, New York Times, April, 2024

'Bondara’s, Take Me With You, finds a soulmate in Radiohead’s restless beat, so skilfully employed that the medley of numbers binds the work into a perfect wrap. The body language is searingly honest connecting social relationships and inner feelings. There is innovation every step of the way from the line of dancers, dressed in trim black shorts and crisp white shirts, sitting across the breadth of the stage,
cross-legged and arms in a chrysalis twist, to the final clap and blackout. His uninhibited use of pointes allows freedom to venture where toes have seldom dared. Rhythmic body percussion and clapping reverberates like a clandestine mating call, marking boundaries and designating partners.
The original duet remains central, danced with panache by Saeka Shirai and Mateusz Sierant. It is daring and dangerous, the timing precipitous but never losing the poetic undercurrent visible in brief shared glances. Duets, solos, the dynamic male skirmish where competitive virtuosity comes to the fore and the energetic closing ensemble, all demand this mix of audacity, skill and artistry structured with Bondara’s keen eye in a work of superb quality. ' Maggie Foyer - Danza, March 2021

 

'Bondara proves his skills in creating rich and emotional dance language which is both contemporary and very physical.'

Dance Europe, Maggie Foyer

 

'Bondara exploited the interesting opportunities the situation offered , showing a distinctive talent for shape and movement.'

Dance Europe, Maggie Foyer

 

'Persona, a quirky and disturbing trio, was created by dancer Robert Bondara, a name to watch out.'

Dance Europe, Maggie Foyer

 

'It is one of the most brilliant ballet careers of the last decade in Poland' Rzeczpospolita, Jacek Marczyński

'The Polish National Ballet's Persona"was my favorite of the entire evening... Choreographer Robert Bondara, a "rising star" in the Polish National Ballet, has turned the push and pull of role reversals in relationships, and in ourselves, into a stunning piece of contemporary dance. Houston Press, Abby Koenig

 

The Polish National Ballet, making their Salad debut, offered four works, of which Robert Bondara's trio excerpt of his minimalist Persona, proved the strongest.' Dancemagazine, Nancy Wozny -

Dance Salad Festival, Houston, Texas

Ma Cong

Ma's video reel is here.

Ma Cong will be named Richmond Ballet's Artistic Director in July 2024 after serving four years as Associate Artistic Director. He has been widely recognized by the dance world as a bold, bright, and inspiring artist and choreographer. Ma started his dance career at the Beijing Dance Academy where he trained in the art of Chinese classical dance. He went on to dance with the National Ballet of China from 1995 until 1999 when he moved the United States. During his twenty-two-year career at Tulsa Ballet as both Principal Dancer and Resident Choreographer, Ma performed works by Duato, Kylián, Forsythe, Balanchine, Robbins, Stevenson, and Wheeldon to name a few. In addition, he created several original works for dance companies worldwide such as Queensland Ballet, Singapore Ballet, National Ballet of China and Richmond Ballet. His first creation for Richmond Ballet, Ershter Vals, was performed for sold out audiences at the Royal Opera House in London in 2012 and at The Kennedy Center in 2015. Also in 2015, Ma’s creation Lift the Fallen was included in Richmond Ballet’s Road to China program for its five-city tour through China. His New York City balletic premiere was in 2017 when Richmond Ballet performed Lift the Fallen at The Joyce Theater. Among his many personal and professional achievements, Ma made his Broadway debut in 2017 while working with Julie Taymor on the revival of David Henry Hwang’s Tony Award-winning play M. Butterfly, starring Clive Owen. Ma, alongside his husband, Thomas Landrum and twins, Thomson and Mason have enjoyed making Richmond their home. Ma looks forward to leading Richmond Ballet towards a bright and inspiring future. 

www.macongchoreography.com

@macongchoreography.official

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