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Slovene National Theatre Maribor

Alexander Ekman

Alexander Ekman <em>Photo: Ann Ray</em>

Photo: Ann Ray

Alexander Ekman was born in Stockholm in 1984 and was trained as a classical ballet dancer at the Royal Swedish Ballet School from 1994 to 2001. He then danced at the Royal Swedish Opera for a whole year (from 2001 to 2002), continuing his dance career at the Nederlands Dans Theater II (NDT II) from 2002 to 2005. His final engagement as a ballet dancer was at the Cullberg Ballet (Sweden), where he made his choreographic debut and decided to devote himself completely to choreography. Alexander Ekman is now an internationally acclaimed choreographer and director, and creates pieces for theatres, opera houses and museums. He also directs films and stages live performances and events in pop up locations around the world. Ekman is known for his fast paced timing, witty humour and clever transitions. He aims to create work that the majority can relate to by creating pieces that both entertain and question the observer aiming to transform the atmosphere in the audience through the inevitable element of surprise. Ekman has created and collaborated with around 45 dance companies worldwide including Cullberg Ballet, Göteborg Ballet, The Iceland Dance Company, Bern Ballet, Dresden Semperoper Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Vienna State Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Dance, Ballet de l’Opéra du Rhin, Royal Swedish Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, the Sydney Dance Company, and São Paulo City Ballet in Brazil among others. 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 and choreographer at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York. Ekman’s 2010 work Cacti has become a worldwide hit and has been performed by more than 15 dance companies. 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. Ekman’s choreography Cacti continues to entertain audiences around the world with its important message. 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 probably the most famous ballet of all time. His Swan Lake received enormous attention worldwide and was staged at the Oslo Opera House in 2016. Ekman filled the stage with 6,000 litres of water creating a real lake on stage. In 2015 Ekman created his own version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Royal Swedish Ballet, which became an instant hit with the audience and critics. In September of that year he received the Swedish Medea Award for artistic innovation and excellence.

Choreographer of the following performances


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