Maggie Donlon

Marguerite Donlon

BIOGRAPHY

Marguerite Donlon is an innovative, contemporary choreographer and performer based in Berlin. Known for her humour and profundity alike, she thrills an unusually broad audience with her work. With stylistic innovation, Irish wit and the combination of different art forms Marguerite Donlon has secured a place in the international dance scene.

Born in Ireland, her childhood was marked by traditional Irish dance; only at the age of 16 years did she have the opportunity to start a professional ballet training. Her first engagement was with the English National Ballet.  Then in 1990 she was invited as a soloist to the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where she worked with dance legends such as Natalia Makarova, Rudolf Nureyev and Sir Kenneth MacMillan, however she found her place working with and dancing the repertoire of the most influential contemporary choreographers, including William Forsythe, Maurice Béjart, Meg Stuart, Bill T Jones and Jiří Kylián.

From 2001-2013 Marguerite Donlon was the ballet director and house choreographer at the Saarland State Theater. The company otherwise known as the “Donlon Dance Company” with its own unique style became a respected and sought-after ensemble and were subsequently invited to perform throughout Europe, the USA and  Asia. Marguerite Donlon is also the initiator and artistic director of the International Dance Festival “now dance saar “, which was launched in 2006.

In 2009 Marguerite Donlon founded “iMove”, a highly motived and successful youth dance company comprising of 24 young people from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds with little or no dance background. This on going project has proven what dance can do to bring these diverse groups together in harmony.

Marguerite Donlon created a variety of  dance works in the past 12 years showing her versatility yet loyalty to a true self expression. For this she has been critically acclaimed worldwide. Part of that variety has been the refreshing re-interpretations of ballet classics and has been critically acclaimed worldwide for her work.

The Yearbook “Dance” paid several tributes  to her and the company over the years announcing them as “Best Company of the Year”, “Best production”, “Best dancer”, or “Most important work for the arts”. On an international level her work has been critically acclaimed also: “Giselle-Reloaded” was nominated for the “Prix Benois de la Danse” with its mixture of contemporary dance and Irish traditional dance which has become a strong motif in her work and finally “Romeo and Juliet” was nominated for the German Theatre Prize “Die Faust”,

Besides her work for the company in Saarbrücken Marguerite Donlon has created choreographies for other dance companies worldwide, such as for the Nederland’s Dans Theater II, the Stuttgart Ballet, Berlin Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Company in Chicago, Rambert Dance in London, the Companhia Nacional Bailado Portugal, Garthner Platz Ballet Munich, Theater Im Revier, The One Grand Show, Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin, and Svetlana Zacharova and the Bolshoi Ballet.

Marguerite Donlon sees dance as a social connector and a tool to communicate on various levels. In 2012 she launched a large scale environmental project dealing with the massive problem we face today “Plastic in our Oceans”. After meeting environmentalist David De Rothchild and brainstorming together she created a dance piece called “Blue”. In addition to this work she also create an interactive sculpture which involved 8 thousand school children collecting plastic bottle tops to fill the sculpture. This sculpture “Plastic Ocean” was subsequently invited to Frankfurt to open the “Eco Arts Festival” and later it was invited to tour Greece to help promote awareness to the problem. She was invited to the world summit for water pollution in Berlin as a result to talk about how dance can reach so many people through a positive approach and how this can influence scientific and political endeavors.

Before leaving  Saarbruecken and her company of 12 years she created the “ZeichenTanz” or “Sign Dance“ a project enabling hard of hearing public to attend dance performances by signing the music . She is currently woking to introduce “ZeichenTanz” to other companies and theaters in Germany.

Marguerite Donlon is a pioneer at heart and her tool to reach out and communicate is through the performing arts. She  is open minded and enjoys pushing boundaries together with teams of passionate people.

 

In addition to her artistic activities, Marguerite Donlon was Awarded Medal of Merit by the Minister President of Saarland for her outstanding artistic work for the Saarland. In 2017 she received an Vivic Reception in honour of her distinguished career as Baller Director and her acclaimed achievements in the world of dance.

In 2009 Marguerite Donlon was invited to be a member of the Presidium of the Federal German ballet and dance theatre directors conference (BBTK) and was invited as an honorary member in 2013.

In spring 2012 she was appointed by the Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland to be a member of the Global Irish Network.

In 2014 she became an accredited PCT and RD1st Life Coach and Leadership Mentor and combines her creative work and coaching skills in the world of business to enhance creative thinking and team building.