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Slovene National Theatre Maribor

Edward Clug

Edward Clug <em>Photo: Šimen Zupančič</em>

Photo: Šimen Zupančič

When enrolling at the National ballet school in Cluj-Napoca (Romania) in 1983, the child of 10 years of age saw a way out from the repressive dictatorship of Ceausescu. After very harsh years during schooling, the communism regime collapses in 1989. Two years after in 1991 he completed his studies, and in September of the same year, he tried his chance at the Slovene National Theatre in Maribor, where he got his first engagement and started his career when Slovenia made its first steps as a newborn country after exiting Yugoslavia.

Here he met famous Slovene theatre director Tomaž Pandur, with whom he started to collaborate as a dancer in his avant-garde productions. Noticing his creative potential Pandur asked him to create the choreography for the performance Babylon, which premiered in 1996.

After his first choreographic experience, Clug embarks on a new artistic journey and in 1998 he creates his first independent project Tango, together with costume designer Leo Kulaš and set designer Marko Japelj, who became his constant creative team. Later in 2008 composer Milko Lazar joins the team in the project Prêt-à-porter and they continue to collaborate intensively ever since.

In 2003 the newly appointed general director of SNT, Danilo Rošker assigned him as artistic director of the ballet and Clug starts to lead the company towards new and distinctive directions. In 2005, he created Radio & Juliet on the music of Radiohead, which became an international hit and drew the international attention due to his specific choreographic style. He started to collaborate with other ballet companies around the world and equally succeeded in putting the Maribor Ballet ensemble on the international dancing map. The Ballet of the SNG Maribor participated in the largest theatre festivals throughout the world performing his choreographies: Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (USA), The Stars of the White Nights Festival in Mariinsky theatre St. Petersburg, Festival of Firsts in Pittsburgh, Arts Festival in Singapore, Biarritz Festival in France, O Botiçario di danza in Brazil, Dance Festival in Tel Aviv, Sintra Festival in Portugal, Festival Des Arts de Saint-Sauveur (Canada), Seoul International Dance Festival (Korea), at the Milan Teatro Piccolo, Dance Open Festival in St. Petersburg and toured Netherlands, Italy, and the countries of former Yugoslavia.

Throughout the years, Clug has developed a strong relation with prestigious Stuttgart Ballet and Zurich Ballet, where he created in 2018 the much-acclaimed full-length ballet Faust.

In the last years, he also started a successful collaboration with the Netherlands Dance Theatre where he created several projects for NDT (I & II). The most recent one Aperture for NDT I, received rave reactions from both critics and public. He was also invited to create new works for Bolshoi Ballet Moscow, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Vienna State Ballet, National Ballet in Lisbon, Grand Ballets Canadiens Montréal, Station Zuid Company, Croatian National Ballet in Zagreb, Croatian National Ballet in Rijeka, National Ballet in Bucharest, Aalto Ballett Essen, Bitef Dance Company Belgrade, Graz Tanz, Ukrainian National Ballet Kiev, Staatsballett am Gärtnerplatz Munich, Augsburg Ballet, Hessisches Staatsballett Wiesbaden, West Australian Ballet in Perth, Novosibirsk State Ballet and Dortmund Ballet. In 2020 he will create a full-length ballet for Bolshoi Ballet, based on Bulgakov’s masterpiece The Master and Margarita. Premiere will take place on 21st of May.

He received several national and international awards for his work and was nominated for the Golden Mask award in 2010 for the project Quattro. He was distinguished with the highest Slovene prizes in culture, the Prešern Foundation Award in 2005 and the Glazer Charter in 2008. He was nominated in 2017 for the prestigious award "Benois de la danse” for the piece Handman with Nederland’s Dance Theatre II and in 2019 for the German Theatre Prize "Der Faust” for the piece Patterns in ¾ with Stuttgart Ballet.


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