Producer contact

Sales contact

© 2018 Phaedra Film Ltd

Photographs © Stephen A'Court, Ken Downie and Phaedra Film Ltd.

The Heart Dances cast

Otto Bubeníček

Set and video design, music arrangement/composition and staging - The Piano: the ballet


“I believe art should be free, so people can

go out of the theatre and think about it.”

Otto was born in Poland to Czech parents. He spent his childhood travelling around Europe with the circus in which his parents worked as acrobats. He studied and trained at the Conservatory for Dance and Music in Prague. 


In 1993, Otto was invited to join John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet where he was promoted to Principal Dancer in 1997. Throughout a two-decade ballet career he was also a sought-after guest artist, invited to perform with many renowned companies worldwide and featured in many gala performances.


In 2014 Otto retired and became a freelance production designer. He is currently studying stage design at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. Otto has won many dance awards and been honoured by the Czech Republic for his contribution to the arts.


Moss Te Ururangi Patterson

(Ngāti Tūwharetoa)

Māori Advisor - The Piano: the ballet

“This is the 21st century and we have to stand proud as Māori, but we also have to find ways to work together, to be together and to create together.”

Moss is a passionate advocate for Māori culture and contemporary dance in Aotearoa New Zealand. Drawing his inspiration from traditional forms and symbols he has created many works for New Zealand's most prestigious dance platforms and international dance festivals. Moss has devised large-scale dance projects in association with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra and Auckland International Arts Festival. In 2011 he was associate choreographer for the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup and in 2018 he founded TOHU Dance Company. In his role as Māori Advisor to The Piano: the ballet Moss worked across many aspects of the production – music, waka design, costume and choreographic elements. 

The Royal New Zealand Ballet

"We are raised in a ballet studio to take direction. Our whole lives are geared towards bettering ourselves, not every day, but every moment."

Patricia Barker, Artistic Director 

Celebrating its 65th year in 2018, the Royal New Zealand Ballet is a dance company of the highest repute. The company of up to 40 dancers performs an eclectic repertoire of outstanding dance for national and international audiences, whilst continuing to build a style that is ultimately unique to Aotearoa, New Zealand.

James Webster

Māori artist and musician

"We're trying not to create too much friction as our canoe plows through the waves."


James is a well-known Māori arts practitioner, working in many mediums including wood, bone and stone (sculpting and carving), paint, fibre and metal. He is also a highly respected tāmoko (Māori tattoo) artist. In addition, James is a talented musician with a passion for making and playing taonga pūoro, (traditional Māori instruments). He has performed in many concerts and tutored at wānanga (places of learning) around Aotearoa. 

Alexandre de Oliviera Ferreira (left) and Abigail Boyle

The RNZB dancers

Abigail Boyle

Luke Cooper

Felipe Domingos Natel

Rhiannon Fairless

Alexandre Ferreira

William Fitzgerald

Sara Garbowski

Tristan Gross

Kate Kadow

Shaun James Kelly

Alyssa Kelty

Fabio Lo Giudice

Massimo Margaria

Yuri Marques

Paul Mathews

Nathan Mennis

Katherine Minor

Georgia Powley

Loughlan Prior

Kirby Selchow

Joseph Skelton

Katherine Skelton

Mayu Tanigaito

Marie Varlet

Leonora Voigtlander

Caroline Wiley

Nadia Yanowsky

Wan Bin Yuan

Visit the RNZB website

Sara Garbowski

Paul Mathews (right) and

Alexandre de Oliviera Ferreira

Nadia Yanowsky (left)

with Bianca Lungu

From left, Luke Cooper,

Felipe Domingos Natel,

Caroline Wiley,

Fabio Lo Giudice,

Georgia Powley

Abigail Boyle

Loughlan Prior