Dance Magazine Award Spotlight: Mats Ek

When you think of choreographers revamping old, familiar ballets, Mats Ek might come to mind. His revision of Giselle is what brought the Swedish choreographer to international fame in 1982; he shocked audiences by uprooting Giselle and placing her in an insane asylum with Myrta as the head nurse. He's also redone Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and recently Romeo and Juliet, creating Julia & Romeo for the Royal Swedish Ballet using Tchaikovsky's score. Ek has also choreographed countless original works over the course of his career for Cullberg Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater and Paris Opéra Ballet, among others. On December 9, Ek will receive a 2013 Dance Magazine Award.

 

Take a look at one of Ek's recent hallmark works, Appartement, which he created for the Paris Opéra in 2003. In this excerpt, étoiles Sylvie Guillem and Nicolas Le Riche perform the pas de deux.

 

 

Ek, the son of Birgit Cullberg who founded Cullberg Ballet, got his professional start in drama and filmmaking. He created the award-winning TV film, Smoke (see it below), featuring his brother Niklas and Sylvie Guillem. And click here for an excerpt of his 2012 DVD Place, a 30-minute duet for Mikhail Baryshnikov and Ek's wife, Ana Laguna.

 

 

Unless you speak Bavarian, you won't understand the interviews in this film about the Bavarian State Ballet's revival of Ek's Giselle. But the beautiful footage gives you a clear view of the work and Ek's movement style: 

 

 

The 2013 Dance Magazine Awards, honoring Philip Glass, Martha Clarke, Mats Ek, Patricia Wilde and Yuan Yuan Tan, will be held December 9 at the  The Ailey Citigroup Theater in NYC. The ceremony is open to the public with a reception immediately following. Tickets are available for $50; contact Ashley Mathus at 212-979-4872 or dmawards@dancemedia.com.

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Courtesy Ava Noble

Go Behind the Scenes of USC Kaufman’s Virtual Dance Festival

Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.

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