THAR BE DRAGONS
Thar Be Dragons is a platform for theatrical dance research, education, and performance, created by Annamari Keskinen and Ryan Mason in 2018. Thar be Dragons functions as a platform for both choreographers to create and present their collaborative and personal work. 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 AT THEMSELVES at the Kaiku Club in Helsinki in 2018. They have been commissioned to create work for the Staatstheater Kassel, EI (2018), Staatstheater Braunschweig BLINK (2022), and Hubbard Street Pro.
Annamari Keskinen (b.1985) is a Finnish performer and choreographer. Since 2004 she has been working as a dancer in several international ensembles throughout Europe. She has been seen in the works of Johannes Wieland, Valtteri Raekallio, Helder Seabra, Chris Harring, Stephanie Thiersh, Linda Kapetanea and Jozef Frucek (Rootless Root) to mention a few.
Annamari’s first evening-length choreography, 'IKIMONO' premiered in Staatstheater Kassel in Germany 2016. In 2021 Annamari directed and performed in THAR BE DRAGONS' currently touring production, ETERNAL RETURN, co-produced by JoJo Oulu Dance Centre. In the summer of 2022 Annamari will take part in Springboard Dansé Montréal as an emerging choreographer to create an installation performance, BETWEEN THE NOT YET AND THE ALREADY NO MORE. In summer/fall 2022 she will create new staged works for Sozo Visions in Motion dance school, in Germany and SUB. LAB. PRO. Ensemble Program, in Hungary.
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), Tanssille ry, Finnish National Opera Ballet School, Dock 11, Diversions (National Dance Company of Wales), IWANSON dance school and Unite Dance Camp India among others.
Annamari’s staged works live within sustained psycho-physical spaces suspending both audience and performers in states of contrast, pathos, empathy, and reflection.
'I'm fascinated by things I don't understand, the ineffable, the uncanny.
My artistic processes are singular and responsive to the content I am investigating. In my choreographic works and teaching, I draw upon my experience as a choreographer and performer to guide participants through multilayered states of research and performance. Past explorations have sourced movement research driven by nuanced psychological attunements, supported by intense atmospheric and sonic environments. Other interests in my research are developing connections and potentialities between the self and the other and how our perception in this can be flexible to include different or even contradicting perspectives. When working with myself and other performers, we look for the realations between the dimensions of the body and the mind. As a method I work through improvisations using instant composition and free associative tasks. Through repetition these improvisations are refined in relation to and reflection on the topic of exploration. I’m interested in conveying deeply ambiguous emotional states and events. I believe in the creative act of the observer and the meaning-making process that develops within the individual. I invite performers and audiences to adventure, explore and experience the power of imagination and its potential to enhance empathy, connection, and a general opening of perception.’
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.
Ryan is working toward his MA in Choreography at UniArts Helsinki TeaK, scheduled to graduate in 2022.