Cathy Marston by Clare Park©

CATHY MARSTON – From Director to freelance choreographer

English Choreographer Cathy Marston is very busy at the moment, but she finds time to sit with ARMANDO BRASWELL and discuss choreographic process, transition and what she is doing now. A leading woman in the choreographic field, Cathy is a choreographer on demand. How she describes herself? „Cathy is a choreographer, who joins the artistic dots and creates form for stories, emotions and ideas. She gives new perspectives to old narratives; opens original ideas to new audiences and crafts unexpected matches between classical and contemporary art forms. She bases her work on expressive integrity and technical quality, reconciling discord with grace. A natural mediator, Cathy combines artistic vision with practical prowess to achieve her objectives.“

Cathy rehearsing with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, Photo by Sasha Onyshchenko
Northern Ballet’s Jane Eyre, a ballet by Cathy Marston. Photo Emma Kauldhar

Transitioning from director to freelance choreographer, could you paint a picture of what that looked like?

I was a freelance choreographer before I was a director, so it was actually returning to something I knew…and yet there has been this moment for six years, where I was primarily based in Bern. I would choreograph one piece a year elsewhere. Nevertheless, it was a big change to go work with and choreograph a new dance each time and initially not knowing if people were going to be interested in bringing me out into the commissioning field again. As it turned out they were and it has been flowing very well ever since. It was a good period at Bern, a very inspiring time where I could develop my choreographic roots to making a piece…my craft or specific methodology if you wish. Now going to work with different dancers brings different influences to that and that’s definitely inspiring.

San Francisco Ballet in Marston’s Snowblind.
(© Erik Tomasson)

Would you ever consider having your own group?

When I was finishing directing the Bern Ballet I was considering it. Actually, I have a project company called the Cathy Marston project which I set up a year before I got the job in Bern. That company still exists and I did consider reviving it when I was transitioning. To be honest, I have been…

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Cathy rehearsing Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, Photo by Sasha Onyshchenko