Thar Be Dragons is a platform for theatrical dance research, education, and performance, created by Annamari Keskinen and Ryan Mason in 2018. The company functions as a platform for both choreographers to create and present their collaborative and personal works. Their research explores notions of subconscious communication, revealing dense and sometimes unseen intimacy between the layers of our inner landscapes. Their staged work shifts between rapid changes of mood, sustained states of tension, and layered imagery, often encircling themes of death, the unknowable, the paradoxical, borders, silence, light, the mystical, and the quotidian.
Annamari Keskinen (b.1985) is a Finnish performer and choreographer and one of the founding members of Thar Be Dragons. The last 18 years she has been working internationally in the field of dance. Her professional career consists over 60 productions with more than 30 directors including multiple works from choreographers such as Johannes Wieland and Valtteri Raekallio.
Annamari has taught and created works for professional and semi-professional dancers in Staatstheater Kassel, Staatstheater Braunschweig, b12 festival, Salzburg Experimental Academy Of Dance (SEAD), Springboard Danse Montreal, Tanssille ry, Finnish National Opera Ballet School, Dock 11, Diversions (National Dance Company of Wales), IWANSON dance school and Unite Dance Camp India, Sozo visions in motion among others.
Her first evening length work IKIMONO premiered at the Staatstheater Kassel in Germany 2016. Since 2018 she has has created works under the name of Thar Be Dragons.
Annamari’s staged works live within sustained psycho-physical spaces suspending both audience and performers in states of contrast, pathos, empathy, and reflection.
Currently based in Helsinki, Finland, Ryan Mason is a choreographer, performer, and teacher working primarily throughout Europe and North America for the past 13 years. Graduating from California Institute of the Arts in 2007, he earned a BFA in Dance and Choreography. Ryan was a member of the Jose Limon Dance Company before joining the Staatstheater Kassel, under the direction of Johannes Wieland, where he also served as rehearsal director.
As a teacher, he has shared his movement practices in multiple institutions such as SEAD, Anton Bruckner Uni Linz, CalArts, NYU Tisch, Staatstheaters Kassel and Braunschweig, b12 Berlin, SpringboardX, Hubbard Street Pro among many others. As a choreographer, he has created many works for institutions of higher learning, as well as for professional companies such as Staatstheater Kassel and Staastheater Braunschweig.
His choreographic work and practice are rooted in the question of what is it that a human can do - mining the depth and breadth of expression within the maker. He draws upon multiple forms of media, emphasizing light and sound and their meaning-making potential, especially as interactive elements within the ecology of choreography. Drawn to the notion of chaos and order as a transformative process, he is currently developing an improvisational solo rooted in the repetition of perceiving and the sustainment of un-knowing.