Born in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Marston spent most of her childhood in Cambridge before joining the Royal Ballet Upper School in 1992 where she won the Ursula Moreton Choreographic Competition.
Upon graduation she joined the Zurich Ballet where she performed a mixed repertoire of work from Balanchine, Van Manen, Nijinsky and Wubbe. In 1996 she moved on to the Luzern Ballet under the direction of Richard Wherlock and later spent a year with the Bern Ballet, continuing to enjoy a range of works from Robert North, David Parsons, Stijn Celis and many others.
During her six years in Switzerland, Marston continued to develop a relationship with the Royal Ballet, choreographing regularly for their Dance Bites tours and education department. Her ballets were performed at the Sadlers Wells Theatre, on tour in the UK and China.
In 2000, she returned to London to begin a new chapter of her career as freelance choreographer/dancer. In the following seven years, she choreographed for the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, Ballett Basel, Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, the Washington Ballet, George Piper Dances, The Ensemble Group, Ballet Central, Images of Dance and many other companies. In 2002, she was made the first Associate Artist of The Royal Opera House. This relationship saw the ROH produce five evenings of Marston’s work in the Linbury Theatre, including a full-length adaptation of Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’ as well as one-act ballets such as ‘before the tempest…after the storm’, ‘Asyla’, ‘Traces’, ‘Sophie’, ‘Stateless’ and ‘Broken Fiction’. ‘Echo and Narcissus’ was a 30min dance-opera for 2 dancers and 2 singers in collaboration with composer, Stuart McRae.
‘Before the tempest…after the storm’ and ‘Asyla’ were filmed by the BBC. Marston was also commissioned to create four short works for the screen by Channel Four, for which she worked with Director, Margaret Williams on ‘You Cuba’.
As movement director in both Opera and Theatre productions Marston collaborated on ‘Bird of Night’ at the Royal Opera House, ‘Don Giovanni’ at Grange Park Opera and ‘Calico’ in the West End. Other achievements included a commission from the a href="http://www.theplace.org.uk/" rel="external">Place Prize (2006) and being shortlisted for the Jerwood Choreographic Awards, the UK Critics Circles Awards and the Arts Foundation Fellowship.
During this period Marston performed with Henri Oguike Dance Company, Arc Dance Company, Liv Lorent, and created the role of The Blue Fairy in Will Tuckett’s Royal Opera House’s Production of ‘Pinocchio’.
At the end of her tenure as Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House, Marston formed her own company – The Cathy Marston Project. Funded by the Arts Council England, it toured the UK in Autumn 2006 with a triple bill of her works including the world premiere of ‘Arcana’ – a collaboration with composer, Dave Maric and fashion designer, Bora Aksu.
In August 2007, Marston became the Director of the Bern Ballett, Switzerland, where she creates her own work and commissions the work of others. Her creations in Bern have included ‘Wuthering Heights’ which toured to the Royal Opera House, London, and ‘Juliet and Romeo’ and ‘Ein Winternachtstraum’ (her adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummernight’s Dream’). Shorter works include ‘CLARA’ (inspired by the life of Clara Schumann) which toured to the Royal Opera House, London, paired with a commissioned work, ‘Howl’ by Andrea Miller. For further information about her creations and commissions for the Bern Ballett please see the Bern Ballett page on this site.
Marston also continues to create new pieces elsewhere including a full-length adaptation of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ for Northern Ballet Theatre, ‘Ashes’ for the Graz Ballett, ‘Blood Wedding’ for the Finnish National Ballet and ‘Enduring Memory’ for the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. In 2010/11/12, The Prix de Lausanne used four solos from her repertoire as their official ‘contemporary variations’ for the candidates to perform.
Marston frequently collaborates with other artists. These have included composers/musicians - Gabriel Prokofiev, Dave Maric, Stuart MacRae, Judith Bingham, Roxanna Panufnik, Jules Maxwell, Peter Sculthorpe, Steff La Cheffe, Pamela Mendez and Mich Gerber; designers – Jon Bausor, Naomi Wilkinson, Garance Marneaur, Dorothee Brodruek, Catherine Voeffray, Jann Messerli, Raphael Barbier, Jean-Marc Puissant, Anthony Lamble, Tatyana Van Walsum; film makers Peter Anderson, Charles Kriel, Margaret Williams and Terry Braun; dramaturges – Edward Kemp; William Oldroyd, directors – Daniel Slater, Edward Hall and Irina Brown and light designers - Simon Bennison, Jon Clark, Laurent Junod and Peter Mumford.