DANCE - TECHNOLOGY - FASHION DESIGN - WRITING
During high school, Merel followed professional dance education at Opleiding Dans Maastricht and she graduated as a digital fashion designer from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute in 2018. After working in the costume design field for one year, designing costumes for the Dutch National Opera and the Salzburger Festspiele in Austria, she decided to take part in the master's programme Artistic Research at the University of Amsterdam. During her studies she got fascinated by how people are able to make strong connections with each other through the communication of dance movements. Unfortunately, as a result of the Corona pandemic, people were unable to dance together in real life and started to look for alternative ways to continue dancing. Technology appeared to be a tool that could be used for that purpose; via video communication platforms like Zoom and virtual reality, people continued dancing. Merel got inspired by this phenomenon where humans are connecting via or with technology and decided to write her Master's thesis about the interference of technology with social dance and how this is experienced in comparison to real-life social dancing. Merel’s works take different shapes from extravagant costumes to short films and conceptual dance videos.
Merel van Marken Lichtenbelt