Paola Cantalupo, Artistic and Pedagogical Director
The Italian Ballerina Paola Cantalupo trained and danced at the Ballet of la Scala in Milan. After being awarded a gold medal at the Prix de Lausanne, and a bronze medal at the Jackson International Dance Competition, she went on to dance with Maurice Béjart’s Ballet of the 20th Century and John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet.
After spending a year in New York researching the Cecchetti and Jose Limon methods she became a principal dancer with the National Ballet of Portugal and then Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in 1988. Beyond performing the leading roles in the traditional classical repertoire (Swan Lake, Giselle, Nutcracker, Raymonda, La Sylphide, La Bayadère, Les Sylphides, Romeo & Juliette… she also worked and performed with numerous choreographers from Maurice Béjart to John Neumeier, JiryKylian, William Forsythe, Uwe Scholtz, and many others but mostly with Jean Christophe Maillot in Monte-Carlo. In 1989, she was named ‘Etoile’ by H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover with the Ballets de Monte-Carlo where she performed until 2009 and was decorated as a Chevalier de l’Ordre du MériteCulturel of the Principality of Monaco.
Following her teacher training at the Centre National de la Danse in Paris (Pantin), she becomes the artistic director of the Centre International de Danse Rosella Hightower and the Pôle National Supérieur Danse Provence Cote d'Azur. She also serves on the Artistic Committee of the Prix de Lausanne and is the Vice-President of the Association Danse Médecine Recherche (A D M R).
Hacène Bahiri, Repetiteur
After five years of studying at the Nice Conservatory and the Centre International de Danse Rosella Hightower, Hacene Bahiri started as a soloist at the Ballet Théâtre français in Nancy. He danced a much diversified repertoire with renowned choreographers such as Georges Balanchine, Jiri Kylian, John Cranko, Félix Blaska, Jeannine Charrat…
He then entered the National Ballet in Marseille as a semi-principal dancer where he performed Roland Petit’s whole neo-classical repertoire. Six years after, he danced Maurice Béjart repertoire with Europa Ballet, then joined, as a soloist, the Lyon Opera Ballet under Yorgos Loukos’ direction. He learned repertoires from A. Preljocaj, Forsythe, M. Marin, O. Naharin, Bill T Jones…
In 1995, he became a teacher at the Centre International de Danse Rosella Hightower. As the Cannes Jeune Ballet Rosella Hightower’s repetiteur, Hacène Bahiri is often asked, by different companies, to be a guest teacher.
Maurizio Drudi, Repetiteur
Maurizio Drudi started his professional carrier in 1988 in the Classical Ballet Cosi-Stefanescu Company (Italy) where he soon performed as a soloist in the classical repertoire among which Giselle, Coppella, Don Quichotte. In 1992, he joined the Aterballetto company, under Amedeo Amodio’s direction, where he enriched his experience dancing various choreographies from Jiri Kylian, Alvin Alley, Massimo Morricone, Glen Tetley, Donald Byrd. In 1994, the choreographer director allowed him to play a lead role, Don José, in the Carmen version. In parallel with this, he was invited many times to do creations at the Rovigo Theatre (Italy) by the choreographer George Iancu.
In 1995, he joined the Monte-Carlo Ballets under Jean-Christophe Maillot’s direction, who allowed him next year to perform Mercutio in ‘Romeo and Juliet’. In 1998, he became soloist and performed strong roles of the company repertoire, in the ballets of Nacho Duato, Twyla Tharp, Jiri Kylian, George Balanchine and William Forsythe.
In 2009, he has been invited as the assistant of the choreographer Michele Merola by the Therazije Theater of Belgrade (Serbia) and then by the Mittel Dance Festival – Festival de Cividale del Friuli (Italy). He was also asked as guest teacher for the MMcompany (Italy) and as teacher-repetiteur for Agora Coach Project (Italy), a professional training programme.
Since 2015, he has been a classical dance permanent teacher at the Centre International de Danse Rosella Hightower, and at the PNSD Cannes-Mougins|Marseille. In 2017, he also became repetiteur for the Cannes Jeune Ballet Rosella Hightower.
Francesco Curci, contemporary dance teacher and academic advisor
Born in Italy, Francesco Curci received his dance education at Progetto Danza Reggio Emilia, Zappalà Danza Modem, Scuola del Balletto di Toscana and Codarts Rotterdam Dance Academy. During his professional career, he performed internationally in various modern/contemporary repertoire with MM Company (under Michele Merlola’s artistic direction), Astra Roma Ballet (under Diana Ferrara’s direction), Station Zuid (under Marc Vlemmix’ direction), Holland Dance Festival (under Samuel Wuersten’s direction), Dance Works Rotterdam (under Ton Simmons’ direction) and Project Sally Maastricht (under Stefan Ernst’s and Ronald Wintjens’ artistic direction) and Conny Janssen Danst (under Conny Janssen’s direction).
In 2003, he got nominated for ‘De Zwanen 2013’, the prestigious Dutch dance award of the Theater and Concert Hall Management Association (VSCD), in the ‘most impressive dancer” category, for his role in ‘How Long Is Now’ from Conny Janssen Danst.
Francesco also choreographed several works, which have been performed both in the Netherlands and abroad. He created pieces for Danslokaal (Conny Janssen Danst), Agora Coaching Project, Primero Festival de Danza Almería Espagne, Festival Parkdans Eindhoven, ISDS Stars of Tomorrow Gala Hong Kong, Choreography Lab (Dance Works Rotterdam), One Night’s Dance (Dansateliers) and Codarts Rotterdam Dance Academy.
As a guest teacher, he taught at Associazione Progetto Danza Reggio Emilia, Dansateliers, SKVR, Rotterdam Dance Academy, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Danse de Marseille and Jean M. Wong School of Ballet Hong Kong. Every year since 2009, he has participated to summer courses at the Centre International de Danse Rosella Hightower, where he is now a dance teacher.
In parallel with his dance career, Francesco also obtained his Bachelor in Psychological and Social Research at the Sapienza University (Medicine and Psychologica University) in Rome. Since 2014, Francesco Curci has been a permanent teacher at the Centre International de Danse Rosella Hightower, and then at the PNSD Cannes Mougins | Marseille.