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Erna Omarsdottir

Erna Omarsdottir
  • Islande
  • Artistic director
  • Choreographer
  • Interpreter

After studying at Iceland’s National Ballet School, Erna Omarsdottir joined the Rotterdam Academy of Dance then, in 1995, moved to Brussels to take up a place at P.A.R.T.S (studying under Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker). After graduating in 1998 she began to catch the eye of some of the world’s leading choreographers, including Jan Fabre, Ann Teresa de Keersmaker and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

After almost a decade as a professional dancer, she decided to focus on her own projects, co-founding the company Shalala with Valdimar Johannsson (2007). She has won Iceland’s prestigious Griman award for dance and theatre three times (2003, 2005 and 2007), and also received the Wind Prize at Croatia’s PUF-Festival for IBM–1401-A user’s manual (2008).

She is currently artistic director of The Iceland Dance Company, with whom she created SACRIFICE in 2017: a “festival of everyday things made holy”. Erna Omarsdottir’s work is not about inventing a new form of writing, or a new style of dance; hers is an abrupt corporal language.

Firmly established as one of the leading lights of Iceland’s artistic scene, each new project is an event in its own right, driven by her unflagging energy and creativity. Music also occupies a central role in her artistic universe (she has previously collaborated with Björk), not least through her presence in the group Lazyblood alongside Valdimar Johannsson. Inspired by metal, their music blends impassioned cries, electronica, head-banging and even a sprinkling of disco.