Robert Bondara is a dancer, choreographer, director, and pedagogue. An artist of the Polish National Ballet, he completed the Feliks Parnell Ballet School in Łódź, and graduated from the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, where he currently serves as a lecturer. He also completed postgraduate studies for managers of culture at the Warsaw School of Economics. Initially affiliated with the Musical Theatre in Łódź, he then moved to work with the Stanisław Moniuszko Grand Theatre in Poznań. In 2005, he joined the ballet company of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera (currently the Polish National Ballet), and in 2008 he began his collaboration with Aleksandra Dziurosz’s Warsaw Dance Theatre.
As a dancer, he performed and created solo roles in pieces by such choreographers as John Cranko, Jiří Kylián, Krzysztof Pastor, Emanuel Gat, William Forsythe, John Neumeier, Emil Wesołowski, Ewa Wycichowska, Toer van Schayk, Wayne Eagling, Aleksiej Ratmański, Conrad Drzewiecki, Jacek Przybyłowicz, Jacek Tyski, George Balanchine, Boris Ejfman, Patrice Bart, Natalia Makarowa, Jurij Grigorowicz, and Frederick Ashton, among others.
He is the recipient of the 2nd prize (no 1st prize was awarded) and the special prize of the Witold Lutosławski Society at the Bronislava Nijinska National Choreography Competition in Warsaw (2008) and the Jan Kiepura Award in the category Choreographer of the Year 2011 in Poland. He qualified to the 27th and 29th International Competition for Choreographers in Hannover (2013, 2015). He was awarded The Brown Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis. In 2018, he received Le Prix de Biarritz award in Emergent Choreographers Contest in Bordeaux, the Jan Kiepura Award in the categories Choreographer of the Year (for Świtezianka developed for the Polish National Ballet) and the Best Director (for The Baltic Legend for the Grand Theatre in Poznań). Directed and choreographed by Bondara, The Baltic Legend also received the Jan Kiepura Award for the Best Performance.
He participated in the Polish National Ballet (PBN) workshops Creations, preparing the ballets When You End and I Begin… to the music by Paweł Szymański (later shown on the Warsaw opera house’s small stage), The Garden’s Gate to the music by Szábolcs Esztényi, 8m68 to music by Amon Tobin, and Transfer Coefficient and Hiccup to the music by Michał Jacaszek, Verses to the music by Max Richter,
Take Me With You to the music by Radiohead, developed by Roberto Bolle (Teatro alla Scala / American Ballet Theater) and Melissa Hamilton (The Royal Ballet).
In 2011 he was a visiting artist at the Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz where he staged his first full-scale ballet The Captive Mind inspired by the book by Czesław Miłosz, set to music by Philip Glass and Wojciech Kilar (Jan Kiepura Award for the Choreographer of the Year). That same year he created Persona to music by Aldona Nawrocka, Arvo Pärt and Paweł Szymański for the Polish National Ballet. The year 2013 saw the world premiere of his Čiurlionis to music by Giedrius Kuprevičius produced for the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Vilnius, with guest performances in Warsaw, Tallinn, and Riga.
In 2014, the ballet company of the Wrocław Opera invited him to develop choreographic versions of Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird and Béla Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin. That same year, he developed Nevermore…? a choreography presented together with Jiří Kylián’s Field Mass and Kurt Jooss’s The Green Table as part of the performance 1914. The piece premiered at the 6th Days of Dance Art at Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Warsaw. In 2016, he developed choreographies for Company E in Washington, and the Kielce Dance Theatre. That same year, the ballet company of Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz presented his Stabat Mater and Harnasie set to the music of Karol Szymanowski. In 2017, he developed Eugeniusz Morawski’s Świtezianka for the Polish National Ballet, and directed and choreographed Feliks Nowowiejski’s opera The Baltic Legend at the Grand Theatre in Poznań. In 2018, he choreographed Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade and Samuel Barber’s Medea.
Bondara’s choreographies have been presented at the National Ballet Competition in Gdańsk, the International Gala of Ballet Stars in Szczecin, the Didura Festival in Sanok, the 43rd International Ballet Competition in Kuopio, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, as well as in Bergen and Stavanger (Norway), Dance Salad Festival w Houston, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, Dancing Poznań – Dance Theatres Festival in Poznań, Roberto Bolle and Friends Gala in Italy (Bologna, Florence, Rome, Spoleto, Verona, Santa Margherita di Pula), Osaka and Tokyo, Xinjiang International Dance Festival (China), Riga (Latvia), Tallinn (Estonia), Studio Dance Stage in Warsaw, and during the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th edition of the Days of Dance Art at Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera.