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Slovene National Theatre Maribor

Edward Clug

Edward Clug <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc

When enrolling at the National ballet school in Cluj-Napoca (Romania) in 1983, a child of 10 already saw a way out from Ceausescu's repressive dictatorship. After very harsh years during schooling, the communist regime collapsed in 1989. Two years after, in 1991, he completed his study, and in September of the same year he tried his chance at the Slovene National Theatre in Maribor. He gets his first engagement and starts his career in Maribor, as Slovenia makes its first steps as a new-born country after exiting Yugoslavia. In Maribor, he met a 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 his staging of Babylon, which premiered in 1996. After his debut choreographic experience, Clug embarked on a new artistic journey. In 1998, he created his first independent project Tango with his partnering dancer Valentina Turcu, together with costume designer Leo Kulaš and set designer Marko Japelj, who have both become his constant collaborators. Later in 2008, a Slovenian composer Milko Lazar joined the team in creating of the project Prêt-à-porter and they continued to collaborate intensively ever since. In 2003, the newly appointed general director of the Slovene National Theatre Maribor, Danilo Rošker, appointed him as an artistic director of the Maribor Ballet and Clug starts to lead the company towards new and distinctive directions. In 2005, he created Radio & Juliet to the music by Radiohead, which became an international hit and drew the international attention to himself, due to his specific choreographic style. He then started to collaborate with other ballet companies around the world and equally succeeds in putting the Maribor Ballet ensemble on the international dance map. The Maribor Ballet 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 held at Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Festival of Firsts in Pittsburgh, Arts Festival in Singapore, Biarritz Festival in France, O Boticário na Dança in Brazil, Dance Festival in Tel Aviv, Sintra Festival in Portugal, Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur (Canada), Seoul International Dance Festival (South Korea), at the Milan Teatro Piccolo, Dance Open Festival in St. Petersburg and toured Netherlands, Italy, and the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Throughout the years, Clug has developed strong relations with internationally acclaimed ballet companies, Stuttgart Ballet and Zurich Ballet, for which he created several pieces and plans on creating more stage works in the future. In recent years, he also started a successful collaboration with the famous Netherlands Dance Theatre, where he created two projects for NDT II. In September 2017, he featured his new choreography Proof with the NDT I. Clug was often invited to create new works for the Royal Ballet of Flanders, National Ballet in Lisbon, Station Zuid Company, Croatian National Ballet in Zagreb, Croatian National Ballet in Rijeka, National Ballet in Bucharest, Aalto Ballet Essen, Bitef Dance Company Belgrade, Graz Tanz, Ukrainian National Ballet Kiev, Staatsballett am Gärtnerplatz Munich, Augsburg Ballet, Hessisches Staatsballett Wiesbaden and West Australian Ballet in Perth. In January 2018, Clug restaged his choreographic masterpiece Peer Gynt for the Vienna State Ballet and won critical acclaim. In April 2018, Clug will stage a new production of his ballet novelty Faust at the Zurich Opera, followed by a November premiere of Stravinsky’s Petrushka for the Muscovite Bolshoi Theatre. For his artistic achievements and excellence, Edward Clug received several national and international awards at dance competitions and festivals and was distinguished with most prominent Slovene prizes in culture, such as the Prešeren Foundation Award in 2005, and the Glazer Charter in 2008. In 2017, Clug was also a nominee for the prestigious international "Benois de la danse” award.


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