Name: Elena PAPDOPOVA
Creative nickname: Elena PAP
Rising name: Aurora
Year of birth: 1968
Place of birth: Sofia
Etymology of the name: “bright”, “sunny”, “a torch”, “shining”, „chosen“ – from ancient Greek Ελένος [helenos]: “a light”, “bright”
Personal credo: “A shining Light forever shines, and darkness cannot overtake it. Bright light – it’s in us and everywhere!” (according to John 1: 5).
Areas of professional competence: theatre director-mimographer (expert in non-verbal theatre), choreographer, actress (pantomime, clowning, dramatic theater, fire drama, etc.), author of scripts and projects in the field of theater, art, culture, intangible cultural heritage and non-formal education, costume designer and technologist, puppet master and master of masks, decor and props, pedagogue, theater and cultural manager.
- [secondary education]: High School of Apparel, Sofia, 1986 г., Fashion Designer, "Clothing design and technology".
[additional professional qualification]: preparatory studio at Mime-studio "Alba" (1985-87), popular art (variety) artist (mime-actress - Variety Directorate of Ministry of Culture, Peoples Republic of Bulgaria), 1987
[higher education]: NATFA "Krastyo Sarafov" - Sofia, Bulgaria, specialty "Pantomime", class of Prof. Vasil Indjev, 1995 (pantomime and non-verbal theater actress, bachelor, BA). Diploma performance: "The Junkman" (screenplay by Co d'Ordan, directed by Prof. Dr. Alexander Iliev)
[higher education]: NATFA "Krastyo Sarafov" - Sofia, Bulgaria, specialty "Directing for pantomime", class of Prof. Alexander Iliev, 1998 (theatre director, master, MA). Diploma performances (acting): "Iliad" and "It's entertainment" (screenplay and direction by Prof. Dr. Alexander Iliev). A diploma production as director: "The Pieretta’s Wedding" (author's performance based on Arthur Schnitzler's mimodrama "Der Schleier der Pierrette. Pantomime in drei Bildern, 1922" (The Veil of the Pierrette. Pantomime in three scenes) - screenplay, stage and musical environment, costumes, directing and staging).
[higher education, post-graduation study]: University of Theatre of Nations (ITI), 27th edition - Seoul, South Korea, Traditional Oriental Theater Techniques (Beijing Opera, Korean Traditional Mask Theater, Korean Traditional Drums, use of far-eastern breathing techniques (tai-chi) in the training of actors", 1997.
[higher education, post-graduation study]: Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University (AMSU) - Amsterdam, the Netherlands, specialization in "Theatrical Management and Marketing", 2001 and "Cultural Management" ("The Value of Culture"), 2002.
[higher education, post-graduation study]: Academy of Cultural Management (Goethe Institute, Sofia Development Association and Sofia University "Kliment Ohridski") - Sofia, Bulgaria, specialty "Management in the field of culture", 2017.
1988, Jena, Germany: "Pantomime" - master class led by Harald Seime (leader ot the Pantomime-Studio an der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena, Germany).
1989, Sofia, Bulgaria: Commedia del Arte – a master class led by Prof. Ezio Maria Caserta (Italy), organizer and host – Mime-studio “Alba”.
1993, Sofia, Bulgaria - "Strategy of modern dance" – a master class led by Judy Dworin (USA), organizer and host - NATFA "Kr. Sarafov ".
1994, Sofia, Bulgaria - "Techniques of the traditional Italian Commedia del 'Arte – a master class with guest teachers from the United States and Italy, organizer and host - NATFA" Kr. Sarafov ".
1994, Zike and Bremen, Germany - "Grotowski’s Theater", master class with teachers from Poland, students of Jerzy Grotowski.
1997, Seoul, Republic of South Korea - Theatre of Nations Masterclass “Beijing (Chinese Traditional) Opera”.
1997, Seoul, Republic of South Korea – Biddan Kon Mu (traditional Korean martial and performing arts with swords) - three months long intensive training course.
1998, Sofia, Bulgaria - Techniques of the Japanese traditional theater "No" - master class led by Yayoi Hirano (Japan, Canada), organizer (NATFA) & Bulgarian-Japanese Friendship Society.
1999, Smolyan, Bulgaria - Theater Management and Marketing ("Theory and Practice of Marketing as an Environment Developing New Cultural Policies, Management and Audiences for the Performing Arts in Bulgaria") – a master class for young professionals and theater directors led by Prof. Frick Bloemers (ex-Marketing Director of Dogtroep) - The Netherlands, organized by the Association of Theater Directors in Bulgaria and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bulgaria.
2015, Kolding, Denmark - PLOOL Children’s Culture Conference, a training on the use of art as an educational tool in working with children, organized by Nicolai for Børn Cultural Center.
2016, Munich, Germany - cultural forum and training on the use of art in working with migrants and people with disabilities "CREATING A COMMUNITY", organized by the International Munich Art Lab (IMAL).
2017, Plovdiv, Bulgaria - Academy for Street Theater "School for Performances" # 3, organizers: Walk the Plank (UK) & Plovdiv’2019 + partners from Cyprus, Greece, Ireland and Lithuania. Topic: organization and maintaining of public open-air art events. Facilitators: Liz Pugh, Alexis Johnson (Walk the Plank) and Rob Hill (Manchester Day Parade) - England, Jim Daly (Fidget Feet Aerial Dance) - Ireland and others.
2017, Limerick, Ireland - School of Performing Arts Academy # 4, organizers: Walk the Plank (UK) & Plovdiv’2019 + partners from Cyprus, Greece, Ireland and Lithuania. Topic: fire shows and public events. Facilitators: Liz Pugh, John Wessel and Alexis Johnson (Walk the Plank) - England and Aidan Phelan (Realta Street Theater, creative director of Limerick St Patrick's Day Parade) and others.
2018, Prague, Roztoky, Czech Republic - "Making giant luminous parade puppets" - master class led by Andrew Kim (Handmade Parade, Thingumajig Theater) - England and Shilard Boraros (freelance artist, designer and set designer) - Hungary, organizer and host - Sdružení Roztoč (Roztoky Association).
2018/2019, Plovdiv, Bulgaria - "Making giant parade puppets and masks" - master class led by Andrew Kim (Handmade Parade, Thingumajig Theater) - England, organizer - "FIRE Theatre-Art-Culture FOUNDATION" within the project "Aylak Parade".
2019, Plovdiv, Bulgaria - "Interactive public actions and interventions, collective performance, community work" - master class led by Gabriele Boccacini, Stefano Bosco, Dario Prazoli (Stalker Teatro) - Italy, organizer - "FIRE Theatre-Art-Culture FOUNDATION" within the project "Aylak Parade".
Debut as actress: in the mime show "Seven Divertimentos" (screenplay and direction by Alexander Iliev), Mime Studio "Alba", 1989.
Debut as theatre director: "Outplay", Mim-studio "Alba", 1992 - author's performance (script, stage and musical environment, costumes, directing and staging).
Participated as an actress in performances of established Bulgarian directors such as Alexander Morfov (NT "Ivan Vazov"), Vladlen Alexandrov (Itinerant State Theater), Simeon Dimitrov (DT "Sofia"), Prof. Vasil Indzhev (independent productions, NATFA), prof. Sasho Stoyanov (independent productions, NATFA), Mincho Sabev and Georgi Cherkelov (NT "Ivan Vazov"), Prof. Dr. Alexander Iliev (Mime-studio "Alba", NATFA, independent productions), Dimitar Sharkov (concert-performances and TV productions in BNT), Nina Shopova (TV productions for children - BNT and Union Television), Milcho Milchev (NATFA, Pantomime Studio Theater), as well as in the production "R" (by Jordan Plevnesh) directed by the Macedonian theatre director Lyubisha Georgievski at the National Theater "Ivan Vazov" and in the international super-production “King Lear” (by William Shakespear) of the Théâtre des Nations Festival and the International Theater Institute directed by Kim Jeong-ok (declared a "living national treasure" of Korea), together with the star-actor of Korean Theater and Cinema Yu In-chon, ex - Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Korea (2008-2011) and longtime adviser to the President on Culture.
Actress (pantomime and clowning) at Samsung Everland, Korea - the sixth largest theme park in the world (1996).
Co-author (as part of a creative tandem with Plamen Radev), costume and sound designer and director of 20 productions for adults and 38 for children from the repertoire of Zhar Theater, including all performances with live fire (fire dramas) of FIRE THEATRE. Actress in most of them.
Mime-grapher, director of stsage movement and fights of the play "Comedy of Errors" by William Shakespeare (directed by Prof. Krassimir Spasov, Army Theater, season 2006-2007).
Part-time lecturer in pantomime and theater at the Southwestern University "Neofit Rilski", Department of Theater (1997-98) and 151st High School, Department of Theater (2002-2003).
Head/Leader of 6 international cultural exchanges, 10 projects of the European Voluntary Service (EVS) as hosting organisation, 2 projects of the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) as hosting organisation, two large-scale projects for Plovdiv - ESC'2019, two art festivals, carnival laboratory and fest studio , a mime-campaign for aestheticization of Sofia, 14 projects under the “Culture” Program of Sofia Municipality, a project under the one-year program of National Fund “Culture” to support professional organizations in the field of traditional and contemporary circus art, numerous theater educational and promotional campaigns, happenings, etc.
Head of workshops and trainer in international projects in Azerbaijan, Moldova, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, India and others.
Participant in prestigious international theater festivals and forums in Russia, Germany, France, Austria, Korea, India, Japan, Serbia, Romania, Greece, the Netherlands, Denmark, USA, Turkey and others.
Participant and speaker in important international cultural forums and conferences in Belgium, Germany, Denmark, France, Tunisia, Jordan and Bulgaria.
• Nomination for pantomime by the Union of Bulgarian Artists for the creation of the play "The Contract" based on a note staged previously in Bulgaria script by Carlo Goldoni (2002)
• Nomination for pantomime from the Union of Bulgarian Artists for the creation of the author's comic pantomime-performance "Showtime" (2001)
• Nomination from the “Concept for Theater” Foundation for Young Bulgarian Drama for the play "Born of Aphrodite" (2000)
• Nomination for pantomime by the Union of Bulgarian Artists for the creation of the author's comic pantomime-performance "Love Circle" (2000)