Choreographer and Dancer – Russell Maliphant
Russell Maliphant trained at the Royal Ballet School and graduated into Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet Company before leaving to pursue a career in independent dance. As a dancer he worked with companies such as DV8 Physical Theatre, Michael Clark & Company, Laurie Booth and Rosemary Butcher. He created his first solo in 1992 and in 1996 he formed Russell Maliphant Company. For the past 20 years he has collaborated closely with the lighting designer Michael Hulls, and in addition to choreographing works for his own company of dancers, has also created works on renowned companies and artists including: Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage, English National Ballet, BalletBoyz, Munich’s Bayerisches Staatsballett and Lyon Opera Ballet.  Russell Maliphant became an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells in 2005 and was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts from Plymouth University in 2011.  His latest company evening titled Conceal/Reveal premiered at the end of 2015 and is touring through 2016-17. Maliphant recently created a new duet for Natalia Osipova and Sergei Polunin which opened at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in June 2016.


Dana Fouras
Dana trained as a classical dancer in Australia and at The Royal Ballet School. She won Adeline Genée Silver medals in 1984 & 1985 and the Prix de Lausanne medal in 1986. On joining The Royal Ballet in 1988 she created the role of Lead Girl in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Soirée Musical and danced roles such as Juliet in MacMillan’s Romeo & Juliet, Solo Swan in Swan Lake, Requiem & My Brother My Sisters and created leading roles with choreographers Page, Bintley & Tuckett.

In 1994 she left the Royal Ballet to pursue a career in independent dance, touring with Irek Mukhamedov, Jonathon Burrows and Russell Maliphant. Works with Russell include the duet Sheer, which won a Time Out Live Award in 2001 and the solo Two. Dana has worked closely with Russell on numerous dance works, film for dance and commercial projects as researcher and collaborative assistant since 1998.


James de Maria
James studied Classical Ballet at Central School of Ballet and completed his diploma in Dance at The London Contemporary Dance School. He spent his final year doing company classes with Siobhan Davis Dance Company (1988), expanding his awareness of release technique through the guidance of Lauren Potter, Gill Clarke and Paul Douglas. Also in this year, he studied Pilates with Alan Herdman and before studying Yoga, qualified as a personal trainer.

He danced with Ricochet Dance company, Mathew Hawkins, Yolande Snaith, Laurie Booth, Russell Maliphant, Second Stride and has performed at The Royal Opera House and The English National Opera.

After 10 years as a dancer/choreographer, he began studying Astanga Vinyasa Yoga with Alex Madim. Eventually, this personal passion led to teaching at City University and numerous locations in London. He has spent the last 16 years based in Ibiza and has been sharing his knowledge of Yoga to people all over the world.

maliphantworks sees James return to the stage.


Daniel Proietto
Daniel trained at the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. After winning several ballet competitions, he joined the Ballet de Santiago in Chile at the age of 16. He has worked with companies such as Teatro Argentino and Carte Blanche, and has created and performed works by choreographers such as Amanda Miller, Ina Christel Johannessen, Ohad Naharin and Robyn Orlin. As a dancer, choreographer and teacher, Proietto has toured in over 30 countries, with guest appearances at the New York City Center and BAM in New York, Theatre National du Chaillot in Paris, Sadler’s Wells and the Coliseum in London, Tokyo’s Bunkamura Theatre, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Esplanade in Singapore and  Forum in Monaco.

Proietto is an important contributor to the works of Russell Maliphant. AfterLight (Part 1), which was created for Proietto, was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award in 2010 and secured Maliphant a UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Choreography, while Proietto received the award for Outstanding Male Dancer. Since 2005, Proietto has worked closely with Alan Lucien Øyen and his company winter guests on several award-winning productions. He has won many awards as both a dancer and choreographer: In 2007 Proietto received first price in the International Competition for Choreographers in Hanover, and in the 2009-2010 season he was ranked number 1 in Dance Europe Magazine’s list of the best 100 international dance artists. In 2011 he received the Italian ApuliArte Award for his contribution to Cherkaoui’s critically acclaimed Faun, and in 2013 he received the Rolf Gammleng Award. Daniel Proietto danced in 2012  in the film Anna Karenina, directed by Joe Wright.


Dickson Mbi
Dickson started dancing in 2005, his main styles being popping and boogaloo. He has won several competitions in the UK and Europe, and participated in many commercial works. After meeting contemporary dance teacher Stuart Thomas in 2008, he sought further training and undertook a foundation and access course in dance at Lewisham College before going on to train at London Contemporary Dance School.

He was studying at the school when Russell Maliphant saw Dickson dancing at Sadler’s Wells in Breakin’ Convention 2011 and asked Dickson to join him for The Rodin Project. Dickson has also appeared in television commercials for Lucozade and Audi, both of which were choreographed by Russell Maliphant.


Tommy Franzen 
Tommy, 35, was born and raised in Malmö in Sweden, and started his dance training there. Before continuing his dance training at the Urdang Academy in London he performed in various musicals in Sweden. In 2013 he won a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award in the “Outstanding Male Performance, modern” category for his role as Simeon in Some Like It Hip Hop with ZooNation and his efforts in The Rodin Project with Russell Maliphant Company. In the same year Tommy was also nominated for The Times Southbank Sky Arts Breakthrough Award and in 2012 the Laurence Olivier Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Dance”.

The following year he co-hosted the National Dance awards alongside Royal Ballet Principal Bennet Gartside. Tommy’s other theatre credits include Mad Hatter’s Tea Party as Ernest (ZooNation, Royal Opera House and Roundhouse), The Five And The Prophecy of Prana (Boy Blue entertainment) as Wang Tang, ZooNation: Unplugged, Goldberg (Kim Brandstrup, Royal Opera House), Flashmob (Sadler’s Wells), Blaze (Sadler’s Wells), Breakin’ Convention (Sadler’s Wells), Bounce and Insane In The Brain (Bounce Streetdance Company). Tommy was the runner up in So You Think You Can Dance (BBC) in 2010 and appeared in the feature film Mamma Mia!. Tommy’s choreography credits include: Some Like It Hip Hop, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Blaze, Cher Lloyd’s music video Swagger Jagger, EDD (The Place) and ident The Singer Takes It All with Allan Carr.  Tommy also performed at the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics 2008 with ZooNation and assisted Kate Prince with choreography. In 2015 Tommy set up his own Production Company and produced a solo called Smile for Sadler’s Wells.

Creative Team

Lighting – Michael Hulls
Michael is an Olivier Award-winner, who trained in dance and theatre at Dartington College and was awarded a bursary by the Arts Council to attend dance lighting workshops with Jennifer Tipton in New York and Paris. Over the last 20 years he has worked exclusively in dance, particularly with choreographer Russell Maliphant. Their collaborations have won international critical acclaim and many awards: Sheer won a Time Out Award for Outstanding Collaboration, Choice won a South Bank Show Dance Award, PUSH, with Sylvie Guillem, won four major awards including the Olivier for Best New Dance Production and Afterlight won two Critics Circle awards. Michael and Russell also collaborated on Broken Fall, commissioned by BalletBoyz, which also featured Sylvie Guillem and won an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production. In 2007 Michael’s and Russell’s work was the subject of Ballet Boyz’s Channel 4 documentary Light and Dance and The Daily Telegraph hailed their collaboration as ‘possibly the most important creative partnership in modern British dance.’

Michael has also worked with BalletBoyz on their productions of Russell’s Critical Mass, Torsion and most recently on the highly acclaimed Fallen. He also lit the BalletBoyz’s productions of Christopher Wheeldon’s Mesmerics and Liam Scarlett’s Serpent. Eonnagata, Michael’s collaboration with Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage and Russell Maliphant, for which Michael won the 2009 Knight of Illumination Award for Dance, opened at Sadler’s Wells and along with Afterlight led to Michael being nominated for the 2010 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, and a second Knight of Illumination Award.

Michael has also worked over many years with Akram Khan on his pieces Fix, Rush, In-I his duet with Juliette Binoche, and most recently on his highly acclaimed full length solo DESH, winner of the 2012 Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production, and In the Shadow of Man. He is also working on Akram’s forthcoming work duet with Flamenco virtuoso Israel Galvan.

He has also worked with Javier De Frutos on the pieces Cattle Call, Paseillo, Los Picadores, Blue Roses, Elysian Fields and the controversial Eternal Damnation, and with Jonathan Burrows on The Stop Quartet, and on Walking/Music, commissioned by William Forsythe for Ballett Frankfort.

In 2009 Michael was delighted to become an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells Theatre and in 2010 his contribution to dance was recognised with his entry into the Oxford Dictionary of Dance. Michael was recently nominated for the 2012 Theatre Managers Association award for Achievement in Dance for his ‘brilliant contribution to lighting for dance; in particular for DESH, Torsion and The Rodin Project.’ In 2014, Michael was awarded the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.

Michael is currently working with Russell on commissions for English National Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet and Ballet Munchen as well as a new programme of work for the Russell Maliphant Company and Akram’s forthcoming duet with Flamenco virtuoso Israel Galvan.


Costumes – Stevie Stewart
Stevie first made her impact with the innovative and influential fashion label BodyMap which she co-founded with David Holah, enjoying great success and cult status during the label’s heyday. Stevie has since gone on to work with top creative names in fashion, music, film and advertising, as a costume, set, production designer, a fashion stylist and often a combination of all of the above, bringing her range of talents to each project.

Stevie has a long standing relationship with the choreographer Michael Clark whom she first started collaborating with in 1984 creating memorable costumes for many of his productions, most recently 2012’s untitled Barbican show that received rave reviews.

Stevie has also worked with Oliver Award Winner and acclaimed choreographer Russell Maliphant, creating the costumes to compliment his renowned dance language of flow, form and dynamics.

Her film credits include: Production Designer and Costume Designer for Ruby Blue directed by Jan Dunn featuring Bob Hoskins and Josiane Balasko; Costume Designer for Baille Walsh’s Flashbacks of a Fool starring Daniel Craig; Costume and Production designer for Jan Dunn’s The Calling.

Stevie has been responsible for the costume design for several international music tours including Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite Les Folies 2011 tour, KYLIEX2008 World Tour, previous Showgirl and Homecoming International tours, as well as The Circus Starring Britney Spears 2009 tour.

Stevie is a long term designer & collaborator for William Baker. Stevie’s BodyMap label is currently featured in the V&A’s Club to Catwalk Exhibition, a major show looking at the influence of club culture on the contemporary catwalk.


Design – Es Devlin
Es is a stage designer. She creates kinetic sculptures meshed with light and film for opera, dance, film, theatre, runway shows and concerts.

Her first works were for small fringe theatres in London including the Bush and the Gate. Her canvas has expanded over the past two decades – through the National Theatre, Sadler’s Wells, Royal Opera House, La Scala, and onto the O2 Arena, Wembley Stadium, and the Olympic Stadiums in London and Rio.

She has created stage sets in collaboration with Beyoncé, Kanye West, U2, Jay Z, Adele and The Weeknd. She designed the London Olympic Closing Ceremony and the Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony and continues to work in theatre at all scales – most recently Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch at the Barbican and Faith Healer at the Donmar Warehouse.

Es’ work has received multiple awards including 3 Olivier Awards, Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and an OBE.


Jan Urbanowski
Jan began working with moving image and post-production after developing techniques in special effects for film whilst working for companies such as Glassworks and Framestore. He progressed into design and editing, working as a motion graphics director for CC-Lab where he composed music, edited and animated content.

After working with Flynn Productions as senior in-house editor he began his independent directing career working closely with Onedotzero who explore and develop new generation filmmakers. His work includes live visuals, promos, installations, commercials and emergent technologies.

Jan has worked with a wide range of artists, including Russell Maliphant, Shobana Jeyasingh, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lady Gaga, George Michael, Q Tip, Nitin Sawhney, Pet Shop Boys & Kasabian. Recent projects include working with the EU in developing novel visualisation tools for enhanced nanotechnology awareness and projection mapping the London Coliseum ceiling. Jan is also the founder and creative director of Rysunku, an independent record label which encourages and promotes forward thinking individuals with an approach sensitive to cultural fusions and experimentation. He is also an active member of esteemed applied art and design studio Tomato.


Russell Maliphant Company
Russell Maliphant Company acts a creative lab for the development and presentation of new work by renowned choreographer Russell Maliphant.

The company’s work is distinct. It is characterised by and celebrated for purity of form, technical excellence and a ground-breaking approach to flow, energy and the relationship between movement, light and music.