Executive Committee

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President: PUDUMJEE Dadi (India)

Director of the Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust. Vice-President of UNIMA between 1992 and 2004.
Former President of Asia Pacific Commission of UNIMA.
Former President of UNIMA India.
Artistic director of The Ishara International Puppet Festival Delhi, coordinator of Unima Asia Pacific commission meeting and Executive meeting in Chennai and Delhi. Curator of Putul Yatra puppet exhibition of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Delhi in Tolosa Spain and Delhi. Puppeteer, Director and Designer, collaborating with puppeteers ,actors and dancers both traditional and modern.Ishara runs a program using puppets and alternative media spreading awareness on HIV and Substance abuse. Recipient of The Sangeet Natak Akademi national award in Puppetry.

Secretary general: TRUDEAU Jacques (Canada)

Born in 1948 in St-Bruno, Québec, Canada. His studies, bac and master in theatre, were done at l'Université du Québec in Montreal. He started as actor and dancer in L'Arabesque Cie. In 1972, he joined Théâtre Sans Fil, a giant puppet company and dedicated to that canadian most acclaimed theatre company 28 years of his time. He was a tale adaptator, a professional trainer and became a master puppeteer. Theâtre Sans Fil did many international tours and won many prices. Among them, The Mask from Theatre Quebec Academy for Bilbo the Hobbit (1200 shows) and the city of Montreal's Art Grand Price for The Lord of the Rings, adaptation of the Tolkien's famous trilogy, performed in 6 different languages around the world. He, also, has collaborated in Italia, at the creation of two operas adapted for giant puppets with the group Porte Girevoli.  From 1990, he is member of the selection committee and artistic counsellor of ManiganSes, Festival international des arts de la marionnette de Jonquière, Canada. Also artistic counsellor for Titerias, a puppet festival in Mexico city. President of the Quebec's puppeteer association, (2002-2004). Counsellor AQM-UNIMA (2000-2008). Member of UNIMA Executive Committee (2004-2008). President of UNIMA North American Commission (2004-2008). He is now happy to serve UNIMA as General Secretary.

Vice-president and President of the North American Commission: MORÁN MARTÍNEZ Manuel  (U.S.A)

PhD in Educational Theatre, New York University, 2005.
Masters in Educational & Musical Theatre, New York University 1992.
Bachelors Degree in Humanities & Drama, University of Puerto Rico, 1990.
Vice-President of UNIMA USA 2004-Present.
CEO & Artistic Director, Teatro SEA @ Los Kabayitos, NYC. NYC's Latino Children's Theatre.

Vice-president and President of the International  Festivals Commission: DABS Annette (Germany)

Born 1961 in Luebeck, Germany.
Exchangestudent in Seattle, USA 1976.
Graduated in Opera-directing from the Highschool of Music and Drama in Hamburg.
Director-assistant for opera and drama (e.g. Peter Zadek).
Directed opera and drama in different theatres in Germany. Studied Cultural Management. Personal assistant of the Head of Department of Culture in Kassel.
General manager of a private theatre in Essen.
Since 1997, General manager and artistic director of Deutsches Forum für Figurenthater in Bochum (e.g. publisher of magazine "Double").
Artistic director of international festival FIDENA.
Member of International Theatre Institut, Germany.

Treasurer: BODSON Lucile (France)

Member of THEMAA form its creation by the different structures that she has directed or actually direct the Théâtre de la Marionnette à  Paris and after the Institut International de la Marionnette / Esnam in Charleville-Mézières since 2003). She became member because of her activities and personal commitment, from many years, with thinking and activities of our profession. UNIMA Councillor representing THEMAA and member of the Training Commission.

President of the Strategic Development Commission: AELBRECHT Ronny (Belgium)

Ronny Aelbrecht is founder and director of the puppet theatre "Vlinders & C°", stage designer and actor, puppeteer. This theatre is Cultural Ambassador of Flanders presented by Beveren. Ronny has followed puppet Academy in Mechelen (great distinction), and several training courses in Belgium and abroad. He has debuted in 1982 as amateur, in 1990 he became professional. He performed almost 4000 shows and has collaborated in shows with Theatre Pro-fiel, with Theatre Taptoe. He worked for the Belgium francophone television "RTBF" in satiric puppet sports programmes. He is artistic director of the new International Festival of Ieper and the national festivals: Poppen aan Zee, Pop en Top, Kids@ oostende.He is coordinator for puppetry in the gouvernemental umbrella organisation Opendoek. He received many awards in Maribor, Teheran, Prague... Ronny Aelbrecht is Belgium Councillor since 1996, he has been Secretary and since 2004 he is president of the Belgium Centre of UNIMA contributing to its clearing out in an excellent spirit of collaboration with his francophone colleagues.

President of Statutes Commission: ALFSEN Knut (Norway)

From 1976 to 1980 studied puppetry at Riksteatret in Oslo. From 1980 to 1984 worked as puppeteer at Riksteatret. From 1984 to 2006 Councilor of UNIMA. From 1984 to 1994 President of UNIMA-Norway. From 1984 to 1991 Leader of the company "Levende Dukker". From 1991 to 1994 Leader of Nordland Dukketeaterveksted Stamsund. In 1992 organized the meeting of the Executive Committee in Stamsund. From 1992 to 2004 Member of the auditing Committee of UNIMA. From 1994 to 1999 Leader of Cultural Centre Notteroy. Since 1999 again leader of "Levende Dukker". Today he is also the vice president of Norsk Skuespillerforbund (Norwegian Actors Equity Association).

President of the Africa Commission : ALHERI KOTONDI Check Amadou (Niger)

Born on 18th January 1966 in Niger, he discovered the world of traditional puppets at the markets and public squares. Years after he decided to embrace the career of puppeteer. Thus he joined the Theatre de la Fraternité of Prof. Jean Pierre GUINGANE in Burkina Faso, with the actor training; he was introduced to the puppetry. It is at Burkina with her friends and colleagues that they create the first puppet company in Burkina Faso. In 1992 he went back to Niger and decided to share his experience with young people and thus how he founded the Kyoko Compagnie that promotes puppetry in Niger and its Region. In the frame of promotion of puppetry art Check has create a relationship net all over the world. Since 2005 he has create the International Puppet Arts Festival in Bijini-Bijini. He is the president of the Africa Commission of UNIMA.

Contemporary writing for the Puppet Theatre sub-commission and Publication & Communication Commission: BRUGGEMAN Greta (France)

Artistic director of the ARKETAL Compagnie from Cannes.Studied at the Institute International de la Marionnette in Charleville Mézières under the direction of Margareta Niculescu, Michael Meschke, Jan Dvorak and Henryk Jurkowsky. Stage design and puppet construction for the Compagnie Arketal since 1983. She collaborates with Michael Meschke from Stockholm in the Ramayana and in the Irish Legend. Founder of the Atelier Arketal training space around puppet in relation with painters, the construction and the play. Shows Tours and workshop animation in France and abroad. Member of the Professional Training Commission of UNIMA.

President of the Cultural Exchange Commission: CASADO Ángel (Spain)

Graduate in Social and Cultural anthropology, European Diploma in Cultural Management. Graduate in social work. Since 1984 Technician in Cultural Management in the Municipality of Alicante, where he co-ordinates different programmes as feasts, festivals (Music, Theatre, Puppets). Since 1985 director of the International Puppet Festival of Alicante. Member of UNIMA Spain since 1991. He has participated actively in the UNIMA Spain Congresses of Segovia, Cuenca, Sevilla and Almagro; in several meetings and assemblies. He attends as Councillor to the Congresses of Budapest (1996) and Rijeka (2004). Collaborator of the magazines Titereando and la Mundia. Coordinator of the publication of the books: El Tà­tere en Alicante y Documenta Tà­teres-1 (where it is a bibliographic compilation of puppets in Spain (1984-1999). He has visited many National and International Festivals and has participated in some events of Unima (Homage to Lorca, Puppets for Peace...) and Juries (Gorgorito prize).

President of the For Latin America Commission: FREIRE Susanita (Brazil)

Uruguayan, actress-puppeteer, researcher and theater producer; lives in Rio de Janeiro where she plays theater of animated forms and works for the puppetry movement  since 1979. In 1983, she founds the group Bonecandeiros dedicated on spectacles for children. In 1984, she helps to found the Asociación Rà­o Teatro de Bonecos, member of ABTB Unima. Since 1996, she participates actively in the Commission for Latin America of Unima. From 1996 to 1999, was Councillor for Brazil, occupying the position of International Relations of the ABTB/ Center UNIMA Brazil. In 1999, she founds the Theatre Bonecos em Açà£o developing spectacles and social works in the favelas and communities of Rio de Janeiro. In 2000, she published an investigation book on Joà£o Minhoca, popular black, puppet that was famous in century XIX because it preached the abolitionism in Rio de Janeiro, Sà£o Paulo, Minas Gerais and other cities of Brazil. Between 2000 and 2007, she has traveled with her shows by all Latin America.

President of the Research Commission: HLEDÍKOVÁ Ida (Slovakia)

Assoc. Prof. Ida Hledíkovà PhD. Slovakia. Born 2.5.1958 Trnava, Slovakia. Theatre historian, critic, dramaturge, author of documentary films, in the past directress of puppetry and television festivals, jury member of puppet theatre, TV and films festivals. President of Research Commission of UNIMA 2004-2008, 2008-2012, since 2000-2008 member of the Executive Committee of UNIMA. 1978-1982 graduated in the Theatre Academy AMU in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Department of Puppetry, branch directing and dramaturgy of Puppet Theatre. 1985-1996 worked as theatre researcher of contemporary puppetry and critic Theatre Institute/national Theatre centre in Bratislava. Since 1999 works as pedagogue at the Department of Puppetry and researcher at Academy of Arts in Bratislava (VSMU). Theatre Faculty 2004-2010 vice-dean of Theatre Faculty. Since July 1st vice-rector of Academy of Performing Arts Bratislava, Slovakia. Publishes in Slovakia and abroad (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary) Author of WEPA articles. Participant of international conferences and meetings (e.g.) India, Austria, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Greece, Germany, USA). Author of monograph Strolling Comedians, Actors, Puppeteers, author of documentary film "The Last caravan".

President of the Professional Training Commission: LOREFICE Tito (Argentina)

Puppeteer, dramatic author and director, professor. Director of the Arts Department of the Universidad Nacional de San Martà­n, Argentina. Director of the Diploma Course in Puppet and Objects Theatre of the UNSAM. Founder member of CIPTO. Member of the group of Puppeteers of the Teatro San Martin from Buenos Aires. Member of the Professional Training Commission of UNIMA since 2002. He has created, played and directed several shows of puppet theatre, drama theatre, opera, video and installations. Supplementary International Councillor of UNIMA.

President of the Europe Commission: MONOVA Nina (Russia)

Has graduated from the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts in Moscow. Has been leading the information department of the Central Obraztsov puppet theatre in Moscow since 2000. Redactor of the journal "Theatre of Miracles" about the puppetry in Russia, many opinions, facts and memories, articles about the History of Puppet Theatre, Plays, etc. She is secretary of Russian Unima Centre.

President of the Women Commission : ONAGI Tamiko (Japan)

In 1972 She joined the Puppet Theatre PUK in its International Section of PUK. In 1977 joined the educational affairs section of the Puk Puppetry Academy. In 1980 participated in the UNIMA Congress in Washington. In 1988 participated in the Unima Congress in Japan. In 1989 attended the UNIMA Executive Meeting in Prague as the secretary of Mr. Kawajiri. In 1990 attended the UNIMA Asian Pacific Commission in Ahmedabad (India). In 2002 attended the UNIMA Council's meeting in Atlanta (U.S.A.). Vice-President of UNIMA between 2004 and 2008.

President of the Cooperation Commission : ROLLE Pierre-Alain (Switzerland)

Born in Friburg in 1954. In 1981 founder of the company "Guignol à  roulettes". He has create seventeen shows. Tours in Switzerland, Germany, France, England, Russia and Spain. Artistic Director, Manager, Tours Organizer, Author, Stage Director, Comedian and Artisan. Artistic Director and project chief of Cultural Events in Switzerland, Europe and Russia. Festival of Belluard, Europeans tours of "La Fura del Baus" (1985-1991), Festival of ASTEJ, Festival Fribourg-Tchéliabinsk, Festival Science et Cité, Expo.02, Festival International du Film de Friburgo. Director of Micro-Climat, programming of Figure Theatre for adults, 1985-1995.
Member of UNIMA Switzerland since 1986.

President of the Publication & Communication Commission: SMITH Karen (U.S.A)

President of UNIMA's Publication and Communication Commission, overseeing the preparation of the English-language edition of the World Encyclopedia of Puppetry Arts (WEPA). She is also a member of the North America Commission since 2008. Born in Australia, Karen lived for 25 years in Asia and Costa Rica, training and working as a puppeteer, designer and builder in India at the Shri Ram Centre Puppet Repertory, Jan Madhyam, and Ishara Puppet Theatre, and in Indonesia as a student of wayang kulit. She has assisted UNESCO efforts to document and conserve threatened puppetry and sacred performance. She is active in UNIMA India and UNIMA-USA.

President of the Education, Development and Therapy Commission: WONG Tim Keung - Simon (China)

Simon Wong is the Director of "Ming Ri Institute for Arts Education", the first professional children's theatre in Hong Kong. In 1993, he obtained a grant from the Asian Cultural Council for doing a research on the development of children's theatres in the United Stated. He attained the "Best Artist Award for the Year - Drama" which was delivered by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 1999. He also consolidates his experience in the outcome of articles and publications, such as: "The Handbook in Puppetry Teaching for pre-school teacher", Wong, T.K. and Mak, M.Y. (2001). At present, he is one of the Executive Committees of the UNIMA-China Centre as well as the Deputy Presidents of "China Puppetry and Shadow Arts Association".
He is also the part-time lecturer of the "School of Continuing Education of Hong Kong Baptist University".