Dr. Marloes van Houten (1982) is a Dutch art director, professional dancer, choreographer and movement educator. She holds a PhD in trauma healing.
In the Netherlands, she graduated in Performing & Community Arts (BA), Fine Arts (PI certificate, Willem De Kooning Academie), Language & Cultural Studies (BA with distinction, University of Utrecht), International Development Studies (MSc. Honors, University of Amsterdam). She also studied ‘Expressive Arts for Performance/Therapy (Advanced Post-Master) at the European Graduate School in Switzerland, and completed her PhD in Hong Kong focussing on the Life/Art Process as a tool in trauma healing. She earned certificates to engage nature therapy/coaching in her work, and teach breathwork, pilates, cardio and strength building classes.
While raised in the Netherlands, she lived, performed, led projects globally. Marloes worked many years in conflict and post-disaster areas in humanitarian aid, conflict transformation, research and the arts. In the Netherlands she combined her artistic career with work in the academic and mental health sector. For example, she lectured at the Instituut voor Interdisciplinaire Studies and the Lingnan University (Hong Kong), directed an interdisciplinary art program ‘Arts in Justice’, functioned for 5 years as the director of the ‘Creative Peace and Human Rights Education’ – international summer school at the University of Utrecht, and was a senior researcher for the International Institute for Asian Studies and the University of Amsterdam.
Marloes worked as a professional dancer/aerial acrobat for companies and projects like MDdance (Monique Duurvoort Danst, NL), I-AM concepts (Singapore/Hong Kong), Dutch National Opera & Ballet, and Vivo Ballet (Rome). She has been teaching dance, pilates, conditioning classes since 2000. In 2013, she founded a therapy practice Birds of Paradise which focusses on improving people’s overall wellbeing through workout-, nutrition-, and expressive arts therapy. In the more recent years, the therapy practice increasingly involves in oncological revalidation and psychological care for (ex) cancer patients.
In 2014, Marloes started the cross cultural dance theatre collective Forge and acts as it’s artistic director. Forge Collective has been mainly active in Europe, USA, and Asia and aims to raise socio-political issues through staging dance theatre performances, expositions and film. Birds of Paradise and Forge Collective function under the umbrella of Hearttohard foundation.