Marco Gerris

Marco Gerris


Marco Gerris is choreographer, director and artistic director of ISH Dance Collective. He was born in the Philippines, but grew up in Belgium. Here, as an energetic creative, he tried all kinds of hobbies, but could never really choose one. This later resulted in various studies at both the drama school Studio Herman Teirlinck (now part of Hogeschool Antwerpen) and the Higher Institute for Dance and Dance Pedagogy and the Open Living Theatre in Antwerp.

In the late 1990s, Gerris moved to Amsterdam, where he started working as a dancer, skater and actor. He was elected Dutch Freestyle Skating champion and worked on various productions, including the musical Eindeloos and performances with dance group AYA. During this period, Gerris spent most of his time at the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, where he made new friends and found the inspiration that eventually led to the founding of ISH – derived from the English suffix ‘-ish’, a word that stands for something you can’t exactly define, because it is both one and the other.

Besides leading ISH, Gerris rarely sits still. He acted in several (international) films, and performed the leading roles in two dance films. He also directed the dance film Hyperscape. Furthermore, Gerris appeared for two years as a jury member in the dance talent show So You Think You Can Dance and for one season as a jury member of the programme The Freestyle Games.

In 2011 Gerris worked with ISH for the first time on a performance by choreographer Ernst Meisner: Yes, we can dance. This was the beginning of more collaborations between Gerris and Meisner; in 2015 they produced Narnia together and in 2018 they brought GRIMM to the stage. Dorian is the latest collaborative production by the two choreographers and their companies: ISH and the Junior Company of Dutch National Ballet. Gerris was awarded the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Prize in 2020, an oeuvre award given to individuals or institutions who have made exceptional contributions to culture.