Marie Topp is a Danish choreographer and performer.
“To experience a billion year in one hour”
A critic wrote to describe a performance by Marie Topp.1
Her performances are characterized by their meditative and hypnotic effects on the viewer. By using slowness as a way to create hyper awareness, and by building landscape-like scenarios on stage through the movements of dancers, sound and light, Topp is creating performances that hold potential for intense emotional journeys. Relationships, isolation, loss and anxiety are recurring themes in her works.
The relationship between the performer and the spectator is central to her practice.
Narratives and abstractions are created in the flow of association that occurs between the work and the viewer. The works challenge the spectators’ concentration and the demand for speed, distraction and linear progress that are characterizing contemporary times.
The experience of the narratives in her works can be compared to the dramaturgy of dreams. You can meet sides of yourself through different embodiments. They appear and disappear, in a flow of association that occurs between the work and the viewer.
Another reviewers described it like this:
“The unique thing is that the presence also includes the audience, who are implicitly invited to listen along. It is not a given for everyone, but those who can let go of the expectation of a special drive on stage will be able to surrender their senses to sound and image, including what may feel uncomfortable”. 2
Marie Topp has a longstanding collaboration with composer Julia Giertz. They trained as dancers from The National School of performing arts 2009. Their common starting point in dance has laid the foundation for a specific approach to the collaboration between choreographer and composer. Central to this joint work is embodied listening, where one does not just use the ears, but activates the body’s ability to listen in all tissues and in the skin, e.g. at massive bass frequencies
Topp works often create a series of works that are reflecting on a topic through different means and aesthetic expressions. Currently she is working on a series of works that explores the perception of time in different phases of life. The first work in that series, The Labyrinth, premiered in April 2022. In 2018–2021 she created a series of works that reflected on how difference structures are embedded in the senses. These works are; Liaisons, Oceanic and Hail to the Good Listener. In 2010–2015 she made a series of works reflecting on the notion of force. These works are: The Everyday Practice of Resistance, Forerunning and The Visible Effects of Force.
As a dancer Marie Topp moves with force, control and a distinct presence.
She often dances in her own works and has also performed in works by Icelandic choreographer Margret Sara Gudjonsdottir and visual artist Eric Andersen.
“Because even if, on a superficial level, the only thing that happens is that Marie Topp stands up, it is in the body's small vibrations and changes that the real story is told”3
“Marie Topp possesses total presence and controls her body down to the smallest millimeter in her otherworldly movements”4
In 2015 she was awarded dancer of the year by the Danish blog Cph Culture.
About Marie Topp:
Marie Topp is currently artistic director of the association Visible Effects.
From 2017–2019 she was a part of the Artistic Advisory board at Dansehallerne under the direction of Efva Lilja. From 2017–2020 she was reorganizing and curating the professional training program at Dansehallerne, Copenhagen.
She has been selected for programmes such as: K3 choreographer in residence programme, Generator Fellowship at Danish Dance Theatre, The Danish Arts Foundations grant: “The Young Artistic Elite” and Danceweb programme at Impulstanz Festival Vienna.
Her works has been presented at venues such as:
MDT, Dansehallerne, Bora Bora, Inkonst, Kampnagel, K3 Tanzplan Hamburg, Inkonst, Aaben Dans, Det Frie Felts Festival, Atalante, Dansstationen, Reykjavik Dance Festival.
She has been teaching technique, composition and shared her practice at: DOCH The University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm, Cirkus and dance department, DDSKS The National School of Performing Arts in Denmark, AFUK Akademiet for Utæmmet kreativitet, Open Training / XACT.
2017–2020 she was a part of the board at the organization Independent Stage Artists.
Marie Topp has been supported with working grants from the Danish Arts Foundation.
She lives in Copenhagen with her partner and children born in 2018 and 2020.
1. Dansemagasintet.dk juni 2021
2. Iscene.dk juni 2022
4. Iscene.dk juni 2022