Originally a dancer and an ice skater, Martino Müller is a Swiss choreographer based in Amsterdam. His first professional engagement was as a dancer with the Karlsruhe Ballet in Germany. A year later, he joined the Stuttgarter Ballet directed by Marcia Hydé. His original interest in classical ballet changed when he came in contact with the contemporary work of Jiri Kylián. He then moved to the Netherlands to fill a position with the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT I). Martino ventured into choreography in 1992, when he was asked to work for NDT II, the junior group of the Dutch company.
His first choreography 'Who’s Watching Who' proved to be a striking debut and received an important prize from a Dutch arts organization. That same year Martino was invited to work for the Festival der Kunste in Bad Gleichenberg, Austria. This led to a production called 'A Woman Can Take You To Another Universe–Sometimes She Just Leaves You There' – which NDT I subsequently included in its own repertoire. NDT I then asked him to create a new piece. The premiere of this creation, 'Heidi,’ took place in 1994. Since then he has choreographed for various prestigious dance companies, including the Lyon Opera Ballet, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Komische Oper Berlin, the Gulbenkian Ballet in Portugal , the Stuttgart Ballet, BalletMet in Columbus , Ohio and the Göteborg Ballet in Sweden.
Müller’s first choreography for a musical 'Notre Dame de Paris,’ directed by Gilles Maheu, was nominated for a Canadian Theatre prize in 2000. In that show, which has toured the world, he synthesized modern dance with acrobatics for the first time and that led to his involvement with ZAIA.
“It’s a big challenge to try and combine Cirque with dance,” says Martino. “But dance is actually just about people who express themselves, people who have emotional energy and that actually creates a connection between the dancers and the acrobats, and it does so in a very positive way reflecting human emotions we all might have and want to express. If I feel that they’re feeling something, it’s valid and it works. The choreographies in this show are structured, but I also give the dancers the freedom to change things if they don’t feel right about it and I encourage them to challenge themselves because they can’t simply do the same thing over and over in every performance.”
Martin Müller was born in 1963 in Aarau, Switzerland.