UCLA: Bachelor of Arts, Dance Choregraphy and Performance
USIU: Master of Fine Arts, Musical Theater
As a performer she has appeared in musicals such as “Hello Dolly”, “Chorus Line”, “The Apple Tree”, “Matador” as well as straight plays such as “in the Boom Boom Room” and “Molly’s Dream”. As a dancer she has danced for Pointer Sisters, Salt and Pepa, En Vogue, Debbie Reynolds, ATC, Mariah Carey and other European and American artists. She has toured Europe with a Belgian group (Magic Force) with a project called “Body and Soul”. The project’s goal has been to reach young people by giving them a choice of a healthier lifestyle without drugs and alcohol. The project received the backing of a major European record company, BMG Ariola, who released three singles of the group.
She started her choreographic work as a student, when she wrote, directed/choreographed and cast six of her own shows. After her studies she started choreographing for musicals as well as for ballet and modern companies. She was a dancer in Tokyo, Japan with the Gordon Bleu show when she got an offer to tour southern Europe in another show. She ended up in Germany in 1995 to choreograph the “Inside Out” world tour of Culture Beat.
Having made Stuttgart, Germany her permanent base she started choreographing for music groups, conventions, fashion shows, TV shows and beauty pageants. From 1996-2002 she also served as the Artistic Director/Resident Choreographer of Manhattan Dance Company at the New York City Dance School, Stuttgart. The Company consisted of 10-12 dancers plus guests and performed around Germany with artistic and commercial repertory. Marilena’s choreographic work for this Company has been awarded three times on an international level in 1997 in Freiburg, Germany and in 2003 in Glanz, Switzerland with “Firestarter” and in 2000 in Ettlingen with “Shimmering Light”. “Collage”, “Momentaufnahme” and “Lust and More” were some of Manhattan Dance Company’s shows. These shows received great reviews and featured Marilena’s old and new choreographic work. Additionally, Marilena often collaborates with other choreographers to experiment and produce new projects.