Interview with Marco Gerris, ISH Dance Collective

"One of my first inspirations was the production ‘Stomp’...I was totally blown away and told myself one day I want to have a similar show with so much positive high energy on stage."

Interview with Marco Gerris, ISH Dance Collective

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

My name is Marco Gerris (44 years old), born in the Philippines and adopted when I was 3 years old by a Belgian family. Since 1997 I moved out to Amsterdam, the city I fell in love with and the home base of ISH. I’m the founder and artistic director of my Company ‘ISH Dance collective’.

I started ISH in 2000 and since then we’ve performed all over the world with many different shows (2006, 2014 on Broadway NY!) We are a collective of street & Hip-hop disciplines; Breakdance, in-line skaters, BMX, Hip-hop, freerunners and many many more...!

How would you describe your show?

Elements of Freestyle is a spectacular and theatrical show with a lot of different street skills and live music, performed by the best, and will show the audience our passion and lifestyle.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

We hope we can share with the world our lifestyle, and that programmers all over the world book our show! The fringe is the biggest festival so if you can make it there we can make it everywhere.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

The amount of shows. I’ve visited a lot of festivals but Edinburgh is by far the biggest and at a fantastic historic place, also the structure to bring in your own audience makes it very different. You never know how many people will come and watch your show, you have to work hard for it!

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

One of my first inspirations was the production ‘Stomp’ (with all the percussion!). When I saw this show for the first time I was totally blown away and told myself one day I want to have a similar show with so much positive high energy on stage... I never knew I would really succeed with it

If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

Probably a job with a lot of traveling: a diving instructor or guiding other people in a foreign country. I like to travel and explore different cultures and people.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

TV host for a travel show, so I have the best excuse to visit the weirdest places and people. Too many beautiful places!

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

My parents took me to ‘Up with People’, a kind of corny musical/gospel show long time ago.

Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?

Not really, it’s all part of the game, and it’s nice if people are interested in your work.

Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?

Not really, I only think that people always expect more and wants to see different things then the last time. We are well known that we bring in a lot of new theatre audience that normally never goes to the theatre.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

Crazy. Ambitious. Family. Changes. Edinburgh.

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

Charlie Chaplin! Fantastic performer and so much ahead with all his skills… He would easily fit in my shows! :)

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe? 

Check out the festival first, it can be overwhelming in everything! Make good connections with locals who can tell you all the ins and outs of this festival.

When and where can people see your show?

We perform at the EICC Pleasance, Almost every day at 4pm!

And where can people find, follow and like you online?

Facebook/instagram/Twitter: ‘Ish dance collective’ & ‘Marco Gerris’

You can see ISH Dance Collective: Elements of Freestyle at Pleasance at EICC from 3rd- 25th August at 4pm. For tickets, please visit

Header Image Credit: Provided


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe..

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