Danish Dance theatre is entering an exciting era, with a new creative force at the helm. This spring, artistic director Marina Mascarell has joined the Copenhagen-based dance company. She brings with her a wealth of experience and a vision where inclusivity, community and creativity are at the core of both the company and its dancers.

Marina Mascarell has lived and worked in the Netherlands for the past 15 years, and whilst she has some experience of Scandinavia, Denmark and Copenhagen are new to her and her family. It is with evident enthusiasm that they are settling in Denmark to build a life and a future, as Marina takes on her new role. “I barely know the city, but I already love it!” she exclaims.

She does not (yet) speak the language, but Denmark doesn’t feel too foreign, thanks to her experience of working in Gothenburg and Malmö with Skånes Dansteater. “I was commissioned many years ago to do a piece at the Opera of Gothenburg about ‘Janteloven’,” says Marina. This typically Nordic topic of social humility seems a suitable starting point for learning the inner-workings of Danish culture.

Danish Dance Theatre: Creativity, change and community

Left: Photo: Raphael Frisenvænge Solholm. Right: Portrait of Marina Mascarell. Photo: Matevz Cebasek

A creative space for everyone

“Part of our nature as people and dancers is always moving,” she says. Throughout her career Marina has lived in many countries and experienced diverse cultures, and movement has always been key in her life and in her work. As such, she recognises the theatre’s unique qualities: “Danish Dance Theatre is an institution with certain characteristics that allow creative vision to really come to life,” she says.

“I want to generate a space where everyone will feel inspired to create,” she says. Inclusivity is a crucial part of her vision to build a supportive physical and creative space at the theatre. The company is a small and dynamic organisation with great capacity to transform and develop. “It is very unique, not only nationally but also on the European scene,” she continues.

Marina is keen to share contemporary practices with the nation and with the rest of Europe, and to grow the theatre in many directions. She considers the creative process to be the pillar of their work, and wants the company to facilitate and run workshops, talks, productions and lectures for the community. Another key focus for her in her new role is “producing less and paying more attention to what we do”.

“A dancer is not just a mover, but also a thinker and a teacher,” she says. Her goal is to create a working environment for dancers of all ages to feel creatively inspired to use their full potential. “There will always be a space for young dancers, but I want to normalise senior dancers in the company too, to show and celebrate different bodies,” she says, addressing the challenges of longevity in the dancing profession. This will be a space that is truly for everybody and for every kind of body.

Change takes time

“I want to establish support for the company and the dancers, to create regular national tours of new productions, and to collaborate with other institutions,” she says of her five-year plan. She envisages a creative space that will attract both choreographers and dancers, as well as using time and resources to develop educational programmes within the city of Copenhagen.

“I see the dance theatre as being an influential part of the local, national and European landscape,” she says. Change does not happen overnight, but Marina’s experience and expertise will allow her to slowly and organically implement new ideas. “Change needs both patience and love, not drastic measures,” she finishes. There is no doubt that Danish Dance Theatre is in the very best hands and on track for an exciting, creative and fulfilling future.

Danish Dance Theatre: Creativity, change and community

Photo: Raphael Frisenvænge Solholm

Web: www.danskdanseteater.dk
Instagram: @danskdanseteater
Facebook: Dansk Danseteater

Experience Danish Dance Theatre Copenhagen Summer Dance:
A much-loved dance festival between city and harbour
Location: Ofelia Plads next to The Royal Playhouse
Date: 5-9 July, 2023

Copenhagen Summer Dance is a cultural event where you can experience world-class contemporary dance at the beautiful waterfront near Ofelia Plads. This year’s programme is spectacular, including dance films under the night sky, free activities, and drinks at the atmospheric bar. The event is Denmark’s largest dance festival, featuring a wide-ranging, outstanding programme, and dancers and choreographers from Ukraine, Sweden and the USA. Tickets at www.danskdanseteater.dk

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Receive our monthly newsletter by email

    I accept the Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy