Andrea Herdeg

Dancer and choreographer Andrea Herdeg is based in Zürich and Locarno. Her professional background includes both dance and theatre. She trained at Accademia Teatro Dimitri (Switzerland) and the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance London (UK). Since 1999 she has danced with many companies in England, Italy, Germany and Switzerland. In 2003 she founded the company herdeg&desponds (Zürich) with pianist Andre Desponds, creating highly accomplished performances that blend music, dance and theatre, to great critical acclaim. Andrea Herdeg is frequently invited to choreograph for dance and for theatre, collaborating among others with theatre director Volker Hesse (opening ceremony for Gotthard Base Tunnel 2016). She is a guest teacher at the Zürcher Hochschule der KünsteZHdK and is a longstanding member of the teaching faculty (dance) at Accademia Teatro Dimitri Verscio. She is winner of the choreography prize at the Rome Theatre Festival 2009.

André Desponds

Concert pianist André Desponds was admitted at the age of 16 to the Musikhochschule Zürich where he studied under Sava Savoff. He is renowned for his interpretations of Chopin, Schubert and Gershwin, and is a highly respected jazz improviser and silent film pianist. Desponds has performed all over the world, including the Gasteig Munich, the St. Petersburg Philharmonia, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the UN Headquarters in New York. He is a founding member of the Gershwin Piano Quartet (1996). Desponds has recorded widely, plays frequently for radio and television, and is a composer in his own right, specialising in theatre, ballet and film scores. As an accompanist he frequently collaborates with noted artists (soprano Noëmi Nadelmann, vibraphonist Thomas Dobler, and violinist Melina Mandozzi). André Desponds is a professor of improvisation and of chamber music at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste ZHdK.


herdeg&desponds frequently create work in collaboration with other artists in the fields of dance, music and theatre, with whom they have a long-term artistic relationship.

Jean-Martin Moncéro, director

Trained as actor at the École Romande d’Art Dramatique in Lausanne, Switzerland. Having performed with numerous companies in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, Jean-Martin Moncéro turned towards new methods of acting training using improvisation which is directly linked to theatrical creation. For many years he has applied the results of his research in a particular teaching method, above all at the Accademia Teatro Dimitri (SUPSI) in Verscio where he was Director for ten years. The main focus of his work is directing contemporary plays.

Juliana Moraes, choreographer

Juliana Moraes (Brazil) studied classical and contemporary dance at the University of Campinas. In 1998 she received a scholarship to continue her studies at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance London (UK) where she graduated with a Masters in Dance Studies. During this period Moraes danced with various companies in England and Switzerland. Back in Brazil she has created and danced many solo projects with which she was invited to perform at renowned dance festivals in Brazil. Her productions have received many awards. Moraes teaches at the Centro Universitario Belas Artes in São Paulo and and has a Ph.D. in dance studies and choreography.

Georg Lendorff, film maker

Georg Lendorff (Zurich) studied Graphic Design at the former HGKZ (now Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK) and Film Direction at the London College of Communication (LCC) (formerly the London College of Printing). Lendorff is a filmmaker in Zurich and creates visuals for theatre and opera. With his innovative work he researches and extends the possibilities of video projections on stage. He produced acclaimed works for the Burgtheater in Vienna, the Salzburger Festspiele, the Staatsoper Stuttgart and the Schauspielhaus Zurich, among others. His has been invited to present his work as part of numerous festivals including the Solothurner Filmtage, the Seoul Short Film Festival and Cinetexas.

Melina Mandozzi, violinist

Melina Mandozzi was born in Locarno to a family of musicians. She received her first violin lesson at the age of four and by the age of ten studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School in London. She later studied in the virtuoso class of Professor Zakhar Bron at the Musikhochschule Lübeck, and then as a postgraduate with Professor Boris Kuschnir for two years in Graz. She has won many awards and prizes at international violin contests, won a three year long scholarship of the Migros-Genossenschaft and the Orpheus-Konzerte adv anement award. When she was twelve years old she gave her debut at the Royal Festival Hall together with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and has been giving concerts ever since throughout Europe, the United States, South America and Japan. Currently Mandozzi is concertmaster at the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.

Florian Albin, dancer and actor

Florian Albin, born in the French Castres, began his career at seven years old in the show Les innocentines by René de Obaldia. In 2007 he entered ATREE, the Association Théâtrale de Recherche et d’Etude in Agen. After graduation Florian created his first solo production for the 16th theatre festival in Agen. In 2010 he entered the Accademia Teatro Dimitri (SUPSI) where he trained intensively in dance, acrobatics, mime and mask and graduated with a Bachelor in Physical Theatre. He was engaged by the Landestheater Innsbruck in Don Pasquale (G. Donizetti) directed by Stephan Tilch and tours in France with the monologue Ein Kind unserer Zeit (Odön Von Horvat) directed by Gilles Guérin. Florian Albin is a certified stunt man (Campus Univers Cascades, France) and lives and works as a freelance artist in Brussels.

Rudolf Jost, costume designer

Rudolf Jost was born and raised in the canton of Berne. After training as a men's tailor and fashion designer, he worked for five years as set design assistant and as costume designer at the Schauspielhaus in Zurich. Since 1996 Jost works internationally as costume designer for theatre, opera and film. Among other places he works for Theater Neumarkt in Zurich, Theatre Lucerne, Schauspielhaus Bochum, Salzburger Festspiele and Staatstheater Maribor. For several years now Jost has also worked for various independent theatre companies in Switzerland. Jost designed Swiss films Cargo and Mary's Ride.

Olivia Higginbottom, choreographer

British-born Olivia is a performer, choreographer and director. She studied at Cambridge University, Ecole de Théâtre Jaques Lecoq Paris, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance London and at the European Dance Development Centre in Holland. Companies worked with include Theatre O, Complicite, Nicole & Martin, Creation Theatre, Adverse Camber, English National Opera, Vanessa Cook and herdeg&desponds. Her film credits include The Libertine and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Biagio Mastroianni, fine artist

Biagio Mastroianni studied visual communication at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. He works as an illustrator, painter and print maker in Lucerne and London. His paintings, drawings and prints are shown in exhibitions in London, New York, Italy, Norway and Switzerland. Mastroianni illustrates for publications such as Horizon, Naked Punch Magazine London, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Weltwoche and for the Swiss Red Cross. He teaches at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

Adrian Schulthess, dancer and actor

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Franziska Born, costume designer

Franziska Born studied textile design at the former HGKZ (now Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK). She has created her own works (costume, fashion and interior design) under the label Heimli Feiss since 1998. In 2000 she was co-initiator of Ping Pong, an interdisciplinary fashion-textile-graphics-project. Born has taught embroidery design since 2005 at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. She has designed and created costumes for herdge&desponds, the Lucerne Theatre and Zimmermann & de Perrot.

Daniel Kayser, dramaturg

Daniel Kayser (Switzerland) trained as theatre director at universities in Berlin and London. From 1991-2005 he staged several plays, notably in dance theatre, in Switzerland, Germany and London and wrote numerous plays. Since 2005 Kayser has been working as a freelance (theatre) author and advisor on artistic projects.

Christoph Siegenthaler, lighting designer

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Stefan Marti, lighting designer

Since 2004 Stefan Marti has focussed on chiaroscuro and spacial rhythm lighting concepts for theatre and dance as well as for architecture and art installation. Next to his lighting design he also offers technical tour support, stage set up and technical direction for smartlight lighting design. Marti is also founding member of the theatre company entre chien et loup in which he continues his theatrical focus on stage. He has worked as technical co-director at the Theater Winkelwiese (Zurich), for the international Opern-Werkstatt at the Kulturschloss Werdenberg and has accompanied many productions at the Theater am Kirchplatz in Schaan, Switzerland.

Sophia Murer, graphic designer

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Thomas Dobler, vibraphonist

Thomas Dobler studied at the music schools of Zurich, Strasbourg and Paris, where he specialised in playing with four sticks. He is widely recognised as one of the most virtuouso vibraphonists in Europe. Walking the line between Jazz and Classical, he has made many recordings, on CD, radio and film. As a soloist Dobler has appeared with the Orchester Musikkollegium Winterthur, the Camerata Bern and the Symphonisches Orchester Zürich. He tours internationally including appearances at the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, BBC Proms London, Ravenna Festival and the Lucerne Festival. In 1998 he won the international CHAIN competition for interpreting contemporary music. He also gives recitals with the pianist André Desponds and has performed many world premieres of contemporary oeuvres as a chamber musician. Thomas Dobler teachers at the Conservatoire HEM de Lausanne (département jazz) and the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK).

Cristina Achermann, producer

Spanish and German Studies in Zurich. Pro Helvetia programme director for Central and Eastern Europe, and of the cultural programme for Southeastern Europe and the Ukraine for many years. Initiator and organiser of the theatre markets in Prague and Crakow, and of the 'Centrelyuropdriims – cultural scenes in Poland, Slowakia, Czechia, Hungary' series. Since 2005 project manager of various national and international cultural projects and production manager for Swiss theatre and dance companies.