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