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Marika Brussel


February 2023


Studio I + II


"My work generally explores myths and folklore from a contemporary, feminist perspective. For this piece, I will be looking at the myth of Circe (from The Odyssey). Beginning with this quote from a novel, "...that all my life had been murk and depths, but I was not a part of that water. I was a creature within it." From that starting point I plan to explore her character from a place of power-- the witch in her is not necessarily 'bad.' In terms of movement, I am a ballet-based choreographer who uses different tools to make work, including choreographic and dramatic games."


Marika Brussel is a contemporary ballet choreographer. Her work reshapes narratives through ballet,  showing our inter-connectedness and equity as humans, bringing ballet into the 21st Century.  Her work has explored myths, plays, and personal stories such as Unraveling, a ballet about dementia. From Shadows: A ballet about homelessness, premiered in October 2017, to sold out audiences in San Francisco. Her ballet, Still Time For Impossible, looked at the climate crisis. 

Her ballets have been commissioned by many companies, including Kansas City Ballet,  Madison Ballet, New Ballet Studio Company, ARC Dance Company, Columbia Repertory Ballet,  Bay Pointe Ballet, and Ballet Theater of New Mexico. She has shown work at festivals around the United States, including Dancing in the Park, Oakland Dances, and West Wave. Marika has held residencies at the Levydance, Dresher Ensemble Residency, Moving Arts SF, SAFEhouse Arts and at Keshet Makers Space. She has twice been part of ODC's Pilot Project, and was a choreographer in Doug Varone's Devices 5. Her other awards include two  Fleishhacker Opportunity Grants and a grant from The Classical Girl. Marika was a 2019 recipient of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Fellowship for Contemporary Ballet.  She was a 2020 fellow at LABA East Bay, and a 2021 fellow with The Peace Studio. 


all images and videos copyright Viki Cercek + Mark Sheats

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