Ra­zor-sharp dance

En­ergy, wit and rhythm are just some of the hall­marks of young Swedish chore­og­ra­pher Alexan­der Ek­man’s dance works.

NZ Life & Leisure - - High St to the Hills -

IN 2016 the Royal New Zealand Bal­let pre­miered Ek­man’s Cacti as part of its near sell-out Speed of Light tour which fea­tured in the Auck­land Arts Fes­ti­val and the New Zealand Fes­ti­val. Cacti quickly be­came an au­di­ence favourite, with the New Zealand Her­ald’s dance critic hail­ing its “cheeky ef­fer­ves­cence, ir­re­press­ible en­ergy and be­guil­ing wit”.

Now, the na­tional bal­let com­pany of 36 dancers will per­form three of his dance works in one night.

Francesco Ven­triglia the RNZB’s artis­tic di­rec­tor says: “We’re bring­ing Cacti back with two ad­di­tional works, Tuplet and Episode 31. It’s the first time these three works have ever been per­formed to­gether. It’s a great chance to get to know Alexan­der Ek­man bet­ter. He never dis­ap­points and is quite sim­ply a ge­nius.”

Tuplet, cre­ated for Cedar Lake Con­tem­po­rary Bal­let and pre­miered at The Joyce Theatre, New York, in 2012, is for just six dancers and is the most in­ti­mate of the three works, riff­ing off the split-sec­ond pre­ci­sion of con­tem­po­rary bal­let dancers at the top of their game.

Episode 31, made for the Se­nior Grad­u­a­tion Class at The Juil­liard School and pre­miered in New York in 2011, is larger in scale, a tor­rent of youth­ful vigour har­ness­ing the en­ergy of New York City.

Cacti (2010) brings it all to­gether, com­bin­ing hi­lar­i­ous in­sights into the dancers’ in­ner­most thoughts with a mes­mer­iz­ing mu­si­cal­ity. Once again, the RNZB will be joined on stage by the New Zealand String Quar­tet for all per­for­mances.

“…witty and so­phis­ti­cated…” New York Times ON TUPLET “This is con­tem­po­rary bal­let at its very best with the most dy­namic light­ing and stylish stag­ing. Alexan­der Ek­man knows how to en­ter­tain. It re­ally will be a great night out.” - Francesco Ven­triglia “its sheer speed was thrilling” The Daily Tele­graph ON EPISODE 31

Three by Ek­man per­formed by the Royal New Zealand Bal­let, 17 May – 15 June, tours to Welling­ton, Auck­land, Napier, Christchurch and Dunedin. rnzb.org. nz/ek­man

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