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Dud Muurmand

- by Marcel Bieger

September 2009

Nils Djervad, Jack Rank,
Johanna Parviainen, Günter Schultz

How did your career start

My artistic career started out in the theater. Already back in my early youth I was drawn to the stage – one of my last years in highschool was spent in Canada as an exchange student. I worked with the local drama club and was lucky to also join in on stage at the big annual theater festival in Victoria, BC.

Back in Denmark I started out studies with different actors, working with semiprof theater groups – I was headed for the theater …But I got stuck in the process somewhere, had to deal with a divorce from my first husband (got married veeerry young) and had to rethink myself in many ways. I had a slight confusion as to what I could accomplish as an artist and in that process I started to experiment in different fields: art-photographing, costume-designing … and then came dancing!

I did not start out my first dancing to be a professional but it did not take long before I knew that it was the “missing link” in my life. My first dance classes was in fact all by chance … bellydance! I think my luck today is that my first teacher Susanne Potempa was (and still is) such a dedicated and serious dancer. She opened my eyes into a different perspective of artistic doing …

And as I dug more into the oriental dance, I also discovered the great potential in dance theater ...

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Dance Theater is one of the main subjects of your art

Already back in 1992 I joined my first professional dance ensemble: “Aladdin-Gruppen”, led by choreographer Ninna Holbek. And as a very innovative thing (in those days J) this ensemble also worked with small theatrical setup in dance-shows. I made my first drama-dance choreographies within this group – One is what I call it my legendary “Sibylle”, the wise woman accused of being a witch. Very interesting, because looking at it now –it was a very dark gothic style dance!

Well, already in 1995 I left the group again to go solo in performance, to start teaching dance full time and to develop my own dance theater.

And I think that all the years since have been a continued development for me. I did start out performing classical bellydance – but at the same time also working with oriental fusion and stage dance. And even though I believe I am very “futuristic” in my dance fusions, I find great inspiration in history. I love to read and do research in the old history books, trying to understand what human nature back then has in common with human nature right now!

The first couple of theater productions I instructed myself (“Fantasies” 1997, “Orientalia 2000” 1998) I did with great inspiration in old style dancing, and I did a lot of research on especially the Ghawazee and the Roman-gypsies. And the stories hit another button with me …I was both  intrigued & horrified with the background of these people who have been haunted down for centuries, but still their culture and art have survived .. not because we have put it all in museums or have spent huge amounts on “rescue-projects”, no –it survived simply because the culture and art of any gypsy-traveller is a given talent in any human being on earth: the talent of adapting to survive but still keeping the spirit free.

Dud as a pharao princess, 1994 - 1995)