Erna Ómarsdóttir, artistic director of Iceland Dance Company, graduated from PARTS (performing arts research and training studios) in 1998. Following her graduation she worked with Jan Fabre, Ballet C De la B, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and became a founding member of the collectives Ekki (Reykjavík) and Poni (Brüssel). She has created and directed a number of works for Iceland Dance Company, including We are all Marlene Dietrich FOR (2005) in collaboration with Emil Hrvation (Janez Janza) and Transaquania – out of the blue – (2009) and Transaquania – into thin air (2010) in collaboration with Damien Jalet and Gabríela Friðriksdóttir. In 2009 Erna created and directed Black Marrow for the Australian company Chunky Moves, in collaboration with Damien Jalet. The work was presented at the Melbourne International Arts Festival and re-staged in 2015, with Iceland Dance Company. For her choreography in Njála, a collaboration between Iceland Dance Company and Reykjavík City Theatre (2015) Erna received the Icelandic Performing Arts Award in the category Dance- and stage movement 2016. Erna also created the festival SACRIFICE, in collaboration with Valdimar Jóhannsson, Matthew Barney, Ragnar Kjartansson, Margrét Bjarnadóttir, Bryce Dessner and Gabriela Friðriksdóttir, which was performed by Iceland Dance Company. SACRIFICE has been performed all over Europe and has received raving reviews. Erna’s latest work with Iceland Dance Company is the Darkness series (At Dusk we Embrace, Örævi, Variations of Darkness and The Best of Darkness) , in collaboration with Valdimar Jóhannsson, to the music by Sigur Rós, and AION, in collaboration with the renowned composer Anna Thorvaldsdóttir. In 2018, Erna created, in collaboration with Icelandic choreographer Halla Ólafsdóttir, a brand new version of Shakespear’s very own Romeo and Juliet for the Gartnerplatsteater in Munich.
In 2008 Erna and Valdimar Jóhannsson founded the performance group Shalala. Shalala has produced numerous dance- and performance pieces that have been presented at leading performing arts festivals and theatres worldwide. Valdimar and Erna also form a theatrical band called LAZYBLOOD.
Erna Ómarsdóttir has worked closely with visual artist Gabríela Friðriksdóttir and musicians Björk, SigurRós, Ólöf Arnalds Jóhann Jóhannsson and Ben Frost. She was an associate director of Les Grandes Traversees in Bordeaux France in 2007 and co-artistic director of Reykjavík Dance Festival 2014. Erna has been nominated a number of times for her work in Ballet Tanz annual reviews, she is a recipient of the Iceland Performing Arts Awards and a resident artist of APAP – advancing performing arts project, a European network connecting international and local aspects of contemporary arts.