Ihsan Rustem was born in London and studied from 1998-2000 at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, during in which time he was a member of the National Youth Dance Company. His professional performance career began in the UK with Matthew Bourne’s Adventures in Motion Pictures; in Germany at Ballet Theater Munich (Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz); Introdans in the Netherlands; and in Switzerland as a founding member of both the Stadt Theater Bern Ballett (Cathy Marston) and the Tanz Luzerner Theater. Ihsan has worked with many of today’s leading choreographers including Mats Ek, Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen and Paul Lightfoot and Sol León; has originated roles in works by Hofesh Shechter, Alexander Ekman, Wayne McGregor, Matthew Bourne, Stijn Celis, Cayetano Soto, Felix Landerer; and has performed further works by William Forsythe & Twyla Tharp, amongst others. He works extensively with and regularly assists choreographer Patrick Delcroix.
In 2010, Sarah Slipper invited Ihsan to Portland to create his first commission for a company. The resulting work, State of Matter, went on to receive international success, winning both the Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest in 2011 and the Audience Choice Award at the 25th International Competition for Choreographers in Hannover, Germany. Ihsan has since gone on to choreograph for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago 2, Istanbul State Ballet MDT, Lucerne Dance Theater Switzerland, BYU Contemporary Dance Theater & Theater Ballet Utah USA, Würzburg Ballet Germany, DSC Company Italy, Akbank Sanat Istanbul, Interdans Festival Belgium, Palucca Schule Dresden and Holland’s ArtEz Dansacademie. He has choreographed four original for works for NW Dance Project to date, his first work State of Matter in 2010, and in 2012 he returned to Portland to create Mother Tongue. In March 2015 he premiered his third work for NW Dance Project Yidam, and was also appointed NW Dance Project’s Resident Choreographer. Most recently, in March 2016, Ihsan premiered his fourth original creation, Le Fil Rouge, and his fifth original creation, Bolero in October 2016, for NW Dance Project, which will be toured nationally and internationally.
Ihsan was the 2014 recipient of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s International Commissioning Project and Whim W’Him’s inaugural Choreographic Shindig, in 2015.