Tag Archive: Alexander Ekman

In the Running

“Ekman / Goecke / Naharin”
Ballet of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre
Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre
Moscow, Russia
March 23, 2019

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2019 by Ilona Landgraf

1. E. Mikirticheva and ensemble, “Tyll” by A. Ekman, Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre 2019 © S. Avvakum No fewer than three pieces of the Stanislavsky Ballet’s repertoire were nominated for this year’s Golden Mask award: “Tyll” by Alexander Ekman, “Lonesome George” by Marco Goecke, and “Minus 16” by Ohad Naharin. On top of that, the company’s senior principal, Oksana Kardash, is nominated twice for her performances in “Tyll” and “Lonesome George”.
The Golden Mask Festival is in full swing in Moscow, presenting the most significant productions of all genres of theater from all over Russia. The winners will be announced on April 16 at an awards ceremony in the Bolshoi Theatre. (more…)


Semperoper Ballet
Dresden, Germany
March 12, 2016

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2016 by Ilona Landgraf

1. C.Bauch, “COW” by A.Ekman, Semperoper Ballet © T.M.Rives“COW” is the Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman’s new creation for the Semperoper Ballet Dresden. As the title suggests, cows – sculptures, not living cattle – are the common thread of this otherwise plotless piece, albeit not dancing but sometimes merely watching what is going on.

The piece is a result of intense teamwork by four artists: composer Mikael Karlsson, costume designer Henrik Vibskov, and multimedia expert T.M.Rives working with Ekman who kept things firmly in hand. Karlsson, who has collaborated with Ekman for several years, contributed the music. He first recorded the basic sounds with Germany’s National Youth Orchestra; then the material was electronically alienated and remixed. It involves a sequence of cowlike “mooing” lasting several minutes. Ekman used the music to generate atmosphere and as a signal for the dancers when to start or which rhythm to keep. One pas de deux, “Silence”, except for single tones, is done without music. The dancers add to the acoustics by speaking, shouting and screaming. One of them, Skyler Maxey-Wert, even sings a song “Nothing Moves a Cow” at the end. (more…)

Taking a Fresh Look

Ian Whalen
Dresden, Germany
August 2015

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2015 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Ian WhalenA picture paints a thousand words, within milliseconds attracting attention, evoking emotions, and subconscious opinions, – or, if poorly chosen, leaving no trace or, worse, an unintended impression. Its impact is enormous, especially in a highly visual art such as dance. An art in itself, dance photography, as well as videos, transports a production’s atmosphere and the story behind it to a wider public, hopefully attracting people.

Yet advertising goals are only one aspect. Beyond advertising, dance photos must document a work. That they show the dancers at their best should be self-evident. Yet it isn’t. The quality of photos available for press purposes differs considerably. It can happen that a production has the most gorgeous costumes and set, but that the photos are bland and of run-of-the-mill quality. Or that only few photos provided show solely the leading couple, at worst in boring standard poses. Supporting roles and the corps sometimes seem invisible to the one behind the camera. But there are also many companies which place high value on pictures, aware that they greatly influence their public image. (more…)

In a Gray and Surreal World

“Choreographies by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot”
Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT 1)
Festspielhaus Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden, Germany
March 08, 2014

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2014 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Sehnsucht by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, NDT 1 Nederlands Dans Theater showed only “Choreographies by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot” on its two day visit to Baden-Baden. Perhaps this was a test run for the coming time of not dancing anything by Jiří Kylián, the company’s former artistic director. Kylian is withdrawing the performing rights to all of his pieces for a three year period that begins in the fall of 2014. Is the idea to boost new creativity? Certainly the repertory’s one-sidedness surprised. NDT is supposed to be at the heart of European modern dance, ever since the company was founded 55 years ago. Instead of showing off NDT’s fascinating vibrancy and diversity (in works by the four associate choreographers – Marco Goecke, Crystal Pite, Johan Inger and Alexander Ekman), we were subjected to much the same fare three times over. A pity! (more…)