Founding Artistic Directors
Cathy Marston and Ihsan Rustem have ‘circled’ one another for many years. Both grew up and trained as professional dancers in the UK but have long since called Switzerland ‘home’.
In 2007, in her first season as Director of the Bern Ballet (Stadttheater Bern), Cathy invited Ihsan to join the new constellation of dancers in the ensemble. Both have also danced in the company of the Luzern Theater; Cathy from 1996-1999 and Ihsan from 2009-2014.
As freelance choreographers, Cathy and Ihsan are in much demand; in Europe both work with some of the top companies, for example The Royal Ballet (Marston) and Nederlands Dans Theater (Rustem). But their creative paths have also led them across the ocean to the US, where Cathy works regularly with companies like San Francisco Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet, and Ihsan is Resident Choreographer for the NW Dance Project in Portland, Oregon.
Although the two artists are now internationally renowned choreographers, they have busy private lives in Bern and Zurich; Cathy juggles a family life with two children who have introduced her to football clubs, ‘Kunstturnen’ as well as a different perspective on the wealth of cultural activities for children in Bern. Ihsan has played an active role in the Buddhist community and is a member of a number of LQBTQ+ organisations, working on the subject of equality.
Their shared experience of balancing a life that is anchored in Switzerland but professionally 'on the road’ has led them to help one another as colleagues over the years with practical advice and friendly encouragement. In 2020 however, the onset of the Covid19 pandemic drew them together in a completely new way, to form Cie. La Ronde. Their vision was to bring their creative lives into a sharper focus in Switzerland, and by collaborating on this endeavour, to reinvigorate their individual artistic visions.
In 2023, Marston will step down from her role as Artistic Director of Cie. La Ronde and continue to support the company as Artistic Advisor. As of the season 2023/24, she will step into her new role as Ballet Director of Ballett Zürich.