New Artistic Director for Danish Dance Theatre who focuses on Collective Co-Creation and 360-Degree Sustainability. On the 1st of April 2023, Danish Dance Theatre enters a new era, with Marina Mascarell as Artistic Director. The importance of dance for the human being, shines clearly in her work. She comes with extensive experience from all over Europe and thinks about creating dance in a 360-degree perspective. Together with the entire Danish Dance Theatre, she is ready to develop the art and the organisation to face the changes in audience behaviour and in society that we are seeing in these years – locally and globally.
Marina Mascarell will be the new Artistic Director of Danish Dance Theatre (DDT). After 11 years in the Netherlands, with choreographies for, among others, the leading dance company in the Netherlands – Nederlands Dans Theater, GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Skånes Dansteater, Lyon Opera Ballet, Dance Forum Taipei, Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona, it is now time to go in depth with a single company – in Denmark. Marina Mascarell thinks 360 degrees about creating in a way that includes the dancers’ development, co-creation strategies and outreach to people of different ages and groups. The sustainable cohesion is the focal point of her work. At first glance, Marina’s work is poetic and then, when you get closer, you see that Marina creates a poetic space, where the dancing body is a form of rebel that challenges what we know.
High Artistic Quality, Co-Creation and Sustainable Cohesion
Corona and the pressured private finances are causing the audience to change their behaviour. Every cultural organisation needs to look inward and assess artistic identity and how it contributes to legitimising the role and importance of art in society. The choice of Marina Mascarell is largely a choice of the combination of high artistic quality and relevance, co-creation and sustainable cohesion. Danish Dance Theatre is already going through organisational development, where there is a focus on collective co-creation and a sustainable working life that makes room for the whole person – in line with the movement we see in many of the larger European dance companies.
Chairperson of the Board, Uffe Savery, and Deputy Chairperson, Karen Toftegaard, state:
“Marina Mascarell was chosen especially because of her approach to dance. The joy of dancing is so present in every conversation with her, and she shows a deep-rooted determination to set a high artistic bar for dance. Her artistic expression and approach to the curation of DDT’s artistic profile is in a very relevant and current way, with a deep insight into, and strong intuitive feeling for, what can move and touch people with very different backgrounds. For her, sustainable cohesion is the essence of her work. Everyone in the organisation gets involved in the development of the dance and enters the artistic space. Also, the administrative part of the organisation. In the artistic processes, she also focuses on co-creation – “together we create DDT”. In doing so, she becomes part of the workplace culture change that we would like DDT to contribute to, in both a Danish and an international context. The choice of Marina Mascarell is also largely about sustainability because it all begins, not just with cutting back on travel, making CO2 calculations and reusing sets. It all starts with art and people – and a sustainable approach to creating art in a safe artistic space and an organisational culture that nurtures people. It costs more to create sustainably, and takes longer, but this is a long-term investment in creating a sustainable Danish Dance Theatre – environmentally, organisationally, economically and psychodynamically. Together with the entire strong company, we believe that Marina Mascarell can draw a future for dance that we all want to be a part of”.
Consolidation of Danish Dance Theatre on Danish and International Grounds
Marina Mascarell has extensive international choreographic experience and looks forward to using that experience in the further development of Danish Dance Theatre as a sustainable, diverse company with a focus on the role of dance in society. In addition, she will expand the program of activities surrounding the performances, including workshops, lectures and activities for children and young people. She states:
“After 11 years of creating works and leading teams for institutions around the world, establishing permanent partners to develop my independent work and building my own practice to create a space for sustainable creation, I am excited to begin this new chapter with Danish Dance Theatre and share all the acquired knowledge and experience with the company, the public, local communities and Danish colleagues. I am excited to meet the current national partners and establish new ties to consolidate Danish Dance Theatre as an engine and platform for expanding contemporary practice in the national and European landscape”.
Francesc Casadesús, the Artistic Director of Spain’s biggest festival, the prestigious Grec Festival, talks about Marina Mascarell: “Her work caught my attention from the very first moment I met her – as she continuously works very deeply and profoundly. She has her own voice.”
Cooperation with the Danish performing arts environment is essential for DDT and therefore an artistic council will be established with people who are deeply rooted in the Danish cultural scene, so that the organisation also structurally supports the responsiveness and co-creation approach that Marina Mascarell brings with her as new Artistic Director of Danish Dance Theatre.
The Sustainable, Diverse Organisation with a Focus on the Role of Dance in Society
“At a time when we are globally considering how we can develop sustainable practices, Danish Dance Theatre is a dynamic organisation with extraordinary capacity for transformation and able to respond quickly to the existing demand to revise our methods, processes and practices. These qualities will strengthen the development of contemporary works and activities with the aim of creating reflection and content in society. Dance and the role that bodies can have in the public sphere will be the core of Danish Dance Theatre,” says Marina Mascarell.
Chairperson of the Board, Uffe Savery, comments on the thorough process behind the selection of Marina Mascarell: “It has been a good process, where the job posting has taken its starting point from a workshop with the entire company and the board’s views. In the thorough recruitment phase, expertise from outside has been involved, with employees from the dancers and the administration, as well as the board. Therefore, this appointment has been made on an extremely well-founded basis”.
Marina Mascarell takes office on April 1, 2023.
Her work will be featured in the season program from 2024.
For questions please contact:
Administrative Director Trine Rindsig Laursen
Tel. +45 2462 7322
Photo: Matevž Čebašek
Facts: Marina Mascarell
Choreographer at Korzo Theater in The Hague 2011-21, Associated Artist at Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona since 2018, and founder and artistic director of the MEI(s) Foundation. Marina Mascarell has created works for e.g. Nederlands Dans Theater 1 and 2, GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Biennale de la Danse de Lyon with Lyon Opera Ballet, Skånes Dansteater, Dance Forum Taipei among others. Her works have been presented in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Taiwan, China, Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and Chile. She has also been recognized and awarded with numerous awards throughout her career, such as the BNG Excellent Dance Award 2015. Alongside her work as a choreographer, Marina has developed a practice that is strongly linked to her choreographic process. A methodological focus in movement research and increased body awareness.
Facts: Danish Dance Theatre
Danish Dance Theatre is one of Northern Europe’s leading companies with a permanent base at The Royal Opera House in Copenhagen. The company is an independent institution with a framework agreement with the Ministry of Culture. Danish Dance Theatre was founded in 1981 and is today Denmark’s largest and most award-winning modern dance company, composed of hand-picked dancers from all over the world. The repertoire ranges from large stage productions at The Royal Theatre, to open-air events such as Copenhagen Summer Dance, to touring widely – both nationally and internationally.