Four international choreographers have found a home base in Switzerland. Their first collaborative dance work is inspired by a play. The work deals with attraction, lust, intimacy and power. 8 consists of eight stories, which are connected.

Switzerland has been graced by another multifaceted dance company. With Cie. La Ronde, Cathy Marston and Ihsan Rustem have not only established a new, Switzerland-based international company, but have also secured well-known powerhouses Caroline Finn and Luca Signoretti for their first evening-length programme. Inspired by Arthur Schnitzler’s play Reigen, which created one of the greatest theatre scandals of the 20th century in 1920 due to its provocative sexual content, the choreographers explore topics such as attraction, lust, intimacy and power, and ask where we stand vis-à-vis such questions a century later. Cie. La Ronde takes a present-day look at Schnitzler’s work and content. The result is a modern interpretation of Reigen in which the choreographers consciously adapted Schnitzler’s specific form of dramaturgy. The self-contained evening consists exclusively of duets linked together in a chain that ultimately form a circle. Eight stories are told by four unique perspectives, which create a whole when joined together.

Cathy Marston

Born in the UK, Cathy Marston studied dance in Cambridge and at The Royal Ballet School in London. Afterwards, she danced with Ballett Zürich, Ballett Luzerner Theater and Bern Ballett. She was an Associate Artist at the Royal Opera House in London before serving as Director of Bern Ballett from 2007 until 2013. There she oversaw numerous premieres and invited renowned choreographers, such as Hofesh Shechter, Andrea Miller, Karole Armitage, Alexander Ekman and Medhi Walerski, to produce works for her company. At the same time, she founded the charitable company called The Cathy Marston Project and produced numerous dance productions as an internationally celebrated choreographer, including for The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, to name just a few. In 2019 and 2021, she won the British National Dance Award for The Suit (Ballet Black)/The Cellist (The Royal Ballet) and received the renowned South Bank Sky Arts Award for her production Victoria with Northern Ballet in 2020. In the same year, she received the award for extraordinary achievements from the International Institute for Dance and Theatre. She will serve as ballet director and chief choreographer of Ballett Zürich starting in the 2023/2024 season.

Ihsan Rustem

Ihsan Rustem was born in London and studied dance at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. He began creating his own choreography in 2010 following a long dance career as an ensemble member in many different European dance companies, including Gärtnerplatztheater München, Introdans, Bern Ballett and Tanz Luzerner Theater. He has been involved in many collaborations, including with NW Dance Project in Portland, Oregon, where he has served as Resident Choreographer since 2015, and with Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Ballet Moscow, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago 2, the Chilean National Ballet, Zurich University of the Arts and ensembles in Lucerne, Bern and St. Gallen. He served twice as choreographer for the popular Russian television series The Bolshoi Ballet. Nederlands Dans Theater named him one of their up-and-coming choreographers for the 2018/2019 season. His works for NW Dance Project have received numerous accolades, including Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Prize, the Audience Prize at the International Choreographic Competition Hannover and Dance Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award for Carmen. In 2021, he joined the jury of the prestigious Prix de Lausanne.

Caroline Finn

The British choreographer Caroline Finn was educated at the Arts Educational School and the Juilliard School in New York. From 2015 to 2018, she served as Artistic Director of the National Dance Company of Wales and remained there as Resident Choreographer from 2018 to 2021. As a dancer, she performed with Ballett Theater München, Ballett Preljocaj and the Carolyn Carlson Company. As a freelance choreographer, she developed works for the Chilean National Ballett, Tanz Luzerner Theater, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Bayerisches Junior Ballett München, Teatr Groteska and the National Dance Company of Wales. Her solo work Bernadette has been commissioned by numerous festivals. In 2010, she won the Production Award at the Copenhagen International Choreography Competition and the Matthew Bourne New Adventures Choreographer Award in 2014. As an educator, lecturer and choreographer, she teaches around the world at different conservatories and universities. She is a member of Tanztendenz München e.V.

Luca Signoretti

Luca Signoretti was born in Pesaro, Italy, and began studying dance in his native country before joining Ballet Junior de Genève in 2006. In 2009, he moved to Lucerne and became a dancer with Tanz Luzerner Theater. Following his active dance career, he then turned to choreography. In 2013, he was a finalist in the 27th International Choreographic Competition Hannover, and three years later he received the Pretty Creatives Award from the North West Dance Project in Oregon, USA. Additional accolades followed, including both second place and the Production Award at the 11th Copenhagen International Choreography Competition. In 2019, he was semi-finalist at the Rotterdam International Duets Choreography Competition (RIDCC). His first short dance film was nominated by the Student Academy Awards in Hollywood in 2020. He completed a master’s degree in choreography at Zurich University of the Arts and is now Artistic Director of the new Choreographers in Residence platform. In 2021, he founded the Luca Signoretti Dance Company, which will tour Switzerland as part of Tanzfaktor in 2022. He regularly teaches at Tanzwerk101 and Zurich University of the Arts.

Credits

Programme: 8

Artistic Directors: Cathy Marston, Ihsan Rustem

Choreography: Cathy Marston, Ihsan Rustem, Caroline Finn, Luca Signoretti

Music: Nicolas Rabaeus

Costumes: Catherine Voeffray

Stage design: Jann Messerli

Lighting: Laurent Junod

Dancers: Winston Ricardo Arnon, Sarafina Beck, Giulia Esposito, Neil Höhener, Rachel Lawrence, Ayako Nakano, Petr Nedbal, Jorge García Pérez 

Project Directors: Cathy Marston, Ihsan Rustem

Production management: Martina Langmann, Irene Andreetto

Stage management: Laurent Junod

Tour management: Irene Andreetto

Co-production: Theater Winterthur, Migros Culture Percentage Dance Festival Steps, Tanzwerk101

Supported by: Kultur Stadt Bern, Amt für Kultur Kanton Bern, Burgergemeinde Bern, the canton of Zurich, the municipality of Muri bei Bern, Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation, Corodis, La Loterie Romande, anonymous donations

Premiere: 7 April 2022 at Theater Winterthur