FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT
French from origin, Aurélia lives in Zurich where she has worked in various roles for large multinational companies, mostly in the field of leadership and organization development.
Initially from a Literature and Business academic background, a career break gave her the opportunity to make a dream come true: bring an artistic and philanthropic project to life. Passionate about dance, the topic came to her very naturally.
“The What Dance Can Do Project was born from the belief that dance can change lives. And that more people should know about it. We want to celebrate the power of dance by sharing the stories of dancers, and encourage the work of people who use their art to make the world a better place.”
Seasoned professional in the areas of brand management, strategic marketing and business development, Marie is based in Paris.
Being fascinated by visual arts, including photography and opera, Marie has discovered ballet dancing with Aurélia as an introduction to the What Dance Can Do Project. Realising how much she was herself moved by the poetry and energy of dancers made her grasp the power of dance. She therefore found herself aligned with the What Dance Can Do goal to promote dance as a change-maker for young people.
Marie is supporting the project from Paris where she aims to create events and develop the What Dance Can Do network.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated and respected dance artists today. In just over fifteen years he has created a body of work that has contributed significantly to the arts in the UK and abroad. His reputation has been built on the success of imaginative, highly accessible and relevant productions such as DESH, iTMOi, Vertical Road, Gnosis and zero degrees.
An instinctive and natural collaborator, Khan has been a magnet to world-class artists from other cultures and disciplines. His previous collaborators include the National Ballet of China, actress Juliette Binoche, ballerina Sylvie Guillem, choreographers/dancers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Israel Galván, singer Kylie Minogue, visual artists Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Tim Yip, writer Hanif Kureishi and composers Steve Reich, Nitin Sawhney, Jocelyn Pook and Ben Frost.
Khan’s work is recognised as being profoundly moving, in which his intelligently crafted storytelling is effortlessly intimate and epic. Described by the Financial Times as an artist “who speaks tremendously of tremendous things”, a recent highlight of his career was the creation of a section of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony that was received with unanimous acclaim.
Khan has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career including the Laurence Olivier Award, the Bessie Award (New York Dance and Performance Award), the prestigious ISPA (International Society for the Performing Arts) Distinguished Artist Award, the Fred and Adele Astaire Award, the Herald Archangel Award at the Edinburgh International Festival, the South Bank Sky Arts Award and six Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. Khan was awarded an MBE for services to dance in 2005. He is also an Honorary Graduate of Roehampton and De Montfort Universities, as well as University of London, and an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban.
Khan is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells, London and Curve Leicester.
PC JL Fernandez
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Kevin is the Artistic Director of the Royal Ballet. He was born in Yorkshire and trained at The Royal Ballet School and, through an exchange programme, with Royal Danish Ballet. He began his performing career with The Royal Ballet’s sister company Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, and stayed with that company as a Principal during its transformation into Birmingham Royal Ballet. During this time Kevin performed extensively in the UK and internationally, including as a guest artist with many leading companies. His repertory included all the leading classical roles, such as Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake), Prince Florimund (The Sleeping Beauty), Albrecht (Giselle) and Romeo (in BRB’s first performance of Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet). O’Hare worked with many leading figures in the ballet world, including Ninette de Valois, Peter Wright, Frederick Ashton, MacMillan and David Bintley, and created several roles, including Amynta (Bintley’s Sylvia). He also produced many galas and choreographic evenings.
O’Hare retired from the stage in 2000, entering into a traineeship in company management with the Royal Shakespeare Company. This led to the post of Company Director with BRB in 2001, and in 2004 he joined The Royal Ballet as Company Manager. He was made Administrative Director in 2009 before being appointed to his current role. In 2013 he was appointed to the board of Dance UK.
Tobias F. Rohner
Dr. Tobias F. Rohner, attorney at law and Swiss certified tax expert, is a partner at Baker McKenzie’s Zurich office. Tobias has been practicing for more than 14 years in the areas of national and international tax planning for corporations and high net worth individuals and is listed by international directories as leader in tax areas. He is a lecturer in tax law at Zurich University and Zurich University of Applied Sciences, a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and also regularly writes articles on taxation. Tobias is working on a pro bono basis for WDCD.
CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHY OFFICER AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Selina is a Zurich-based freelance photographer. Young successful entrepreneur, she now aspires to grow her artistic potential. “It has been very exciting and inspiring to meet dance artists from diverse backgrounds since we started the Project!
“The What Dance Can Do Project” relies a lot on image, for online publications and for the book that we prepare. We are also going to exhibit pictures and text in an event dedicated to the Royal Danish Ballet in May 2018 in Copenhagen.”
Selina descibes “Capture peoples’ unique moments and emotions in their true essence and turn them into something that ‘sticks'”, as her biggest ambition.
French by birth and Swiss by adoption, Sophie calls Zurich “home”.
Graduated Engineer and Ph.D in Chemistry, she leads innovations, creates technology roadmaps and secures the future by protecting these new assets by an adequate patent strategy. Her background gives Sophie the passion for creation and for the precision of the movement. She has always been fascinated by dance as a vector for physical performance and deep emotions. “Following Aurélia in the Project was for me the most natural decision and a real booster!”
Maura Madeddu is a journalist from Sardinia, Italy. Passionate about dance and ballet since her childhood, she studied Foreign Languages and Communication in Cagliari and Milan before specializing in Fashion Communication at the Université de la Mode in Lyon, France. She is a contributor to fashion magazines in Italy – L’Officiel, L’Officiel Hommes, i-D, Flair – and often puts a bit of dance in her work by interviewing dancers. She truly believes that beauty will save the world and according to her, the combining of dance and fashion is one of the most beautiful pas de deux ever. Apart from these two, she is deeply in love with Sardinian sea. She decided to join the What Dance Can Do Project because she is convinced that (telling) dancers’ stories could have a positive impact on nowadays society.
Other friends of the Project
- The Dutch National Ballet
- Hôpital Necker. Paris