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Cacti

Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Choreographer(s) : Ekman, Alexander (Sweden)

Present in collection(s): Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon

en fr

Cacti

Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Choreographer(s) : Ekman, Alexander (Sweden)

Present in collection(s): Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon

en fr

Cacti

World Premiere 25 February 2010, Lucent Dans theatre, Den Haag

In Cacti Ekman turns his keen eye upon the scene that birthed him: contemporary dance itself. A gleeful and knowing parody of the art form’s greater excesses, Cacti is an affectionate, pointed and often hilarious deconstruction of the affectations of dance.

Sixteen dancers stand, seemingly trapped, on oversized Scrabble tiles. While a string quartet plays, and spoken recordings give tongue-in-cheek narration of the action, the dancers run, fall, writhe and try to escape their invisible prisons; eventually – and this is the important bit – they each acquire a cactus. But what does it all mean?

Cacti was created in 2010 and is one of Ekmans most succesful pieces. It consists of 16 dancers creating rhythms together with 4 musicians live on stage.

Cacti was given as a gift from Queen beatrice of Holland to the royalties of Norway on a state visit in Oslo 2010. The piece was also nominated for the pristigeous Swan award for best new dance production in the Netherlands 2010.

Sydney Dance Company, Dresden Ballet, Dortmund Stadstheater and Boston Ballet will perform Cacti in 2013.

The Piece has been nominated for three awards. A swan award in Holland for best new dance production and for the critics circle award and an Olivier award in the UK.

Choreography Alexander Ekman
Assistant to the choreographer Urtzi Uranburu
Lighting Design Tom Visser
Costume Design Alexander Ekman
Text Spenser Theberge

Ekman, Alexander

Alexander Ekman is an international choreographer/director creating  pieces for theatres, opera houses and museums. He also directs films and  creates live performances/events in pop up locations around the world.  Ekman has created and collaborated with around 45 dance companies  worldwide including the Royal Swedish Ballet, Cullberg Ballet, Compañia  Nacional de Danza Goteborg Ballet, Iceland Dance Company, Bern Ballet,  Cedar Lake Contemporary Dance, Ballet de l’Opéra du Rhin, The Norwegian  National Ballet, Boston Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Sydney Dance  Company, The Royal Ballet of Denmark and Vienna Ballet. He has also  created for festivals the French Europa Danse and the Athens  International Dance Festival.
In 2005, at the International  Choreography Competition of Hannover, Ekman was awarded first prize by  the critics, and won second prize with Swingle Sisters (one of the  ballets from his Sisters trilogy). During 2011 Ekman also worked as a  teacher/choreographer at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York  City. Ekman’s 2010 work Cacti has become a worldwide hit and has been  performed by 15 dance companies including Sydney Dance Company. The work  was nominated for the Dutch Zwaan dance prize in 2010, the National  Dance Award (UK) in 2012, and also for the prestigious British Olivier  Award. In 2009 Ekman created the dance film 40 Meters Under for and with  Cullberg Ballet, which was broadcasted on national Swedish television.  That autumn he collaborated with the renowned Swedish choreographer Mats  Ek on video projections for Ek’s play Håll
Plats. Ekman also created an  installation for the Modern Museum in Stockholm with dancers of  Cullberg Ballet.
In 2012 he collaborated with Alicia Keys and  incorporated her into his work Tuplet. In 2014 Ekman created his own  version of Swan Lake, a new take on the most famous ballet of them all. A  Swan Lake received enormous attention worldwide and returned to the  Oslo Opera House in 2016. Ekman filled the stage with 6,000 litres of  water creating a real lake on stage. A Swan Lake is available on DVD and  the documentary Rare Birds by TM Rives shows the process of how it  became possible to create a lake inside an opera house. In 2015 Ekman  created his own version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Royal  Swedish Ballet. In September of that year he received the Swedish Medea  Award for “Inventor and renewer”. In 2016, he received the German  theatre award “Der Faust” for his ballet COW for the Semperoper Ballet.

Source: Opéra de Paris

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