Cathy Marston is an award-winning choreographer, artistic director and Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow. After education in Cambridge, she spent two years at the Royal Ballet School, before launching a successful international career now spanning over twenty-five years.
Marston’s great gift is to join artistic dots, creating form for stories, emotions and ideas. She inherited a passion for literature from her English-teacher parents. For Marston, stories inform dance. As Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House for five years (2002-2007), she created a critically acclaimed interpretation of Ibsen’s Ghosts, before the tempest…after the storm (after Shakespeare’s The Tempest) and many other short works. During her six-year tenure in Switzerland directing the Bern Ballett (2007-2013), her British ‘respect for the playwright’ became influenced by the ideas of German theatre and ‘Director’s Theatre’, resulting in her unique, hybrid signature. Lending new perspectives to old narratives in her versions of Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Narbokov’s Lolita, Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, or in her historically-inspired The Cellist, Victoria or Witch-hunt: all are danced-stories stripped back to their essence and displaying high quality technique and unflinching expressive integrity. Ever-more widely recognised for her distinctive style of dance-drama, she won the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Victoria (Northern Ballet) in 2020, the UK National Dance Award for The Suit (Ballet Black) in 2019 and has been short-listed for both Olivier and National Dance Awards for several other works including Jane Eyre and Victoria (Northern Ballet.) In 2020 the International Institute for Dance and Theatre awarded her their prize for Excellence in International Dance.
Passionate about opening original ideas to new audiences, Marston crafts unexpected matches between classical and contemporary art forms, for example, commissioning a new score for soprano voice and female beat-boxer by Dave Maric, or commissioning composer, Gabriel Prokofiev, to write for orchestra and DJ for her full-length ballet, Ein Winternachtstraum.
Marston’s proudest moments include major creations for The Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Northern Ballet, Danish Royal Ballet (and many more) founding her charitable company, The Cathy Marston Project as well as leading the Bern Ballett safely away from the brink of closure to become a flourishing and celebrated ensemble.