Thar Be Dragons is a platform for theatrical dance research, education, and performance, created by Annamari Keskinen and Ryan Mason in 2018. Here, both choreographers bring their professional experience and individual artistic vision into collaboration. Their work 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. Thar Be Dragons presented their first full-length work, ‘Dying Animals Don’t Feel Sorry For Themselves’ at the Kaiku Club in Helsinki in 2018. They have been commissioned to create work for the Staatstheater Kassel, Staatstheater Braunschweig, and Hubbard Street Pro.
In her approach to dance and theater, Annamari is interested in how the invisible is made visible and how the subconscious can serve as a source of creativity and guide one through the artistic process. Pulling from multiple resources such as her experience with Butoh Dance and trauma-based studies, she looks for the subtle reality of things that are present but not always seen. After her vocational studies at the Finnish National Opera ballet school, she has been working as a dancer in several international ensembles throughout Europe since 2004. She is currently based in Helsinki, Finland.
Currently based in Helsinki, Finland, Ryan Mason is a choreographer, performer, and teacher working throughout Europe and North America. 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. In his choreographic work, Ryan searches for enigmatic states, taking them apart to look at them—for their absurdity, as well as for their sensory possibilities.