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The Press

'Rustem, whose Bolero delighted audiences last fall, is a master in arranging bodies on a stage. Stravinsky’s infamously dense score, which caused riots at its 1913 premiere, flies by.' Max Tapogna, Oregon Arts Watch, June, 2023 on The Rite of Spring

‘The undoubted highlight of the show is Rustem’s choreography for Suzanne. The quite exquisite duet picks up on the romantic longings of the song. Utterly delicious, it speaks deeply of care and support, of love and being loved. Rustem produces the most innovative ensemble piece too, Tower of Song. The choreographer turns the mood on its head. Humour becomes the watchword for a few minutes as the whole cast interact playfully with video projections and typewriters. Rustem gets closest to those lyrics as he creates theatrical poetry. His Dance Me to the End of Love... an early stand out.’

Seeing Dance

‘Particularly memorable is Rustem’s witty version of Tower of Song, which incorporates typewriters and has the dancers lying on their backs, punctuating notes with their raised, fluttering legs. The final droll flourish is a projection of ruby-red lips mouthing the words.’ 

The Telegraph


‘Rustem’s Dance Me to the End of Love was powerful. My favourite piece was Rustem’s pas de deux set to Suzanne, which was luminous in its beauty.’

The Jewish Chronicle


‘Rustem’s movement was connected and fluid. The combination was haunting. Each dancer spoke their own voice, their own story; then in a stunning moment, they all came together. It was the most refreshing dance image I’ve seen all year. This piece showcased SALT’s technique and work ethic, and appeared well-rehearsed within Rustem’s artistry. The piece ended in an evolution of the community breaking away. The stage was left with a final endless duet. It was constant motion, staying true to Rustem’s fluidity. I didn’t want to look away and I didn’t want the piece to end.’


‘Ihsan Rustem's piece Yidam leaves you breathless. The Englishman with Turkish-Cypriot roots is currently resident choreographer at the North West Dance Project in Portland and will soon be working for the renowned Nederlands Dans Theater in The Hague. In 2015 he created his choreography Yidam, Rustem creates movement forms that are as supple as they are athletic. In a constant flow. Right at the beginning, this was the fascinating highlight.’

Augsburger Allgemeine

A Tale of Impermanence was outstanding.’



‘For lovers of the lightness of being, Thursday night’s premiere performance of Ihsan Rustem’s Le Fil Rouge was a surprise and a delight. Le Fil Rouge is an evocation of the smart pop music and fizzy Hollywood dance styles of the 1950s and ’60s. Like Twyla Tharp and a few others before him, Rustem’s not afraid to mine the energy and inventiveness and nostalgic attractions of popular culture. Rustem’s relationship with Northwest Dance Company has been a fruitful one, and only promises to get better: last year he was named the company’s resident choreographer. This is the fourth dance he’s created for NDP, following State of Matter, Mother Tongue and Yidam and I would happily watch any and all of them again. 

Oregon Arts Watch



Ihsan Rustem

Ihsan's video reel is here.

Choreographer Ihsan Rustem was born in London, where he trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.


Ihsan is the Co-Artistic Director of Cie. La Ronde, the Swiss dance company he founded in 2020 with Cathy Marston, and is the Resident Choreographer for the NW Dance Project in Portland, Oregon USA, where he has created 12 works for the company, including a recently acclaimed production of The Rite of Spring.


Further collaborations include the Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Ballet Moscow. National Ballet of Chile, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago 2, Istanbul State Ballet MDT, Tanz Luzerner Theater, Tanzcompagnie Konzert Theater Bern, Whim W'Him Seattle, Ballett Augsburg, Tanzcompanie Theater St Gallen, Thüringer Staatsballett, Staatstheater Braunschweig Tanztheater, Kazan State Opera and Ballet, Koblenz Ballet, Ballet Regensburg, Würzburg Ballet, Siberian State Ballet, Salt Contemporary Dance USA, Repertory Dance Theater, Arts Umbrella Dance Company Vancouver, National Youth Dance Company, Palucca Hochschule Dresden, The Rambert School, Codarts and ZHdK. He was a featured choreographer for Russia's popular TV show 'The Bolshoi Ballet'..


Nederlands Dans Theater named Ihsan as one of their Up & Coming Choreographers for the 2018/19 season. In 2021, he was a member of the Jury of the prestigious Prix de Lausanne.


His work for the NW Dance Project has been recognised with numerous accolades. State of Matter won the 2012 Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest as well as the Public Prize at the 25th International Competition for Choreographers Hannover, and Carmen received Dance Magazine's 2017 Readers' Choice Award for Best Collaboration. Rustem was also the 2014 recipient of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's International Commissioning Project.


From 2000-2014 Ihsan Rustem was a dancer with the Ballet Theater Munich, Introdans, Bern Ballet, Tanz Luzerner Theater and Adventures in Motion Pictures. He originated roles in creations by Wayne McGregor, Hofesh Shechter, Alexander Ekman, Matthew Bourne, Stijn Celis, Patrick Delcroix, Cayetano Soto, Felix Landerer, Cathy Marston and worked with choreographers Mats Ek, Jiri Kylián, Paul Lightfoot / Sol Leon, Hans van Manen and William Forsythe, amongst others.


He is the former Artistic Director of the Dance Art Studio Ballettschule Luzern.


Ihsan lives in Zurich, Switzerland.


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