EXHIBIT: Mats Ek - A Dance Rebel on the Move for Forty Years

  • Mats Ek - A Dance Rebel on the Move for Forty Years

    Mats Ek - A Dance Rebel on the Move for Forty Years Photo: ©Lesley Leslie-Spinks

  • Mats Ek - A Dance Rebel on the Move for Forty Years

    Mats Ek - A Dance Rebel on the Move for Forty Years Photo: ©Lesley Leslie-Spinks

  • Mats Ek - A Dance Rebel on the Move for Forty Years

    Mats Ek - A Dance Rebel on the Move for Forty Years Photo: ©Lesley Leslie-Spinks

  • Mats Ek - A Dance Rebel on the Move for Forty Years

    Mats Ek - A Dance Rebel on the Move for Forty Years Photo: ©Lesley Leslie-Spinks

Very theatrical, pretty wild, with a robust, physical humor and a highly personal movement style – those are some landmarks of acclaimed Swedish choreographer and director Mats Ek, a leading figure in the European dance world.

Since his debut in 1976 his works have stirred and captivated audiences and his reworkings of ballet classics such as Giselle, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty have become classics themselves. His collaboration with world stars like Sylvie Guillem and Mikhail Baryshnikov has furthermore cemented his international reputation.

Canadian-born photographer Lesley Leslie-Spinks has had the privilege of documenting Mats Ek´s success as choreographer and director from his debut in 1976. With special insight and sensitivity, she has managed to enter his highly personal and precisely delineated world.

Mats Ek was born in 1945 into a theatrical family. His mother was pioneering choreographer Birgit Cullberg, who founded the Cullberg Ballet in 1967 and where Mats Ek started his career. His father was actor Anders Ek, who often appeared in the films of Ingmar Bergman. Mats Ek´s works are not surprisingly a fusion of theatre and dance, with a special interest in social and psychological issues. He also started his career as theatre director and has often returned to that profession in highly personal stagings of plays by Shakespeare, Chekov and Strindberg, using the talent of both actors and dancers as performers. He has been a rebel in everything he is creating, going against tradition and convention.

Although his mother Birgit Cullberg was much seen in the US from her breakthrough with Miss Julie for American Ballet Theater in 1958, Mats Ek has been less present on the American stage. But this early summer American audiences can familiarize themselves with his Juliet and Romeo when The Royal Swedish Ballet tours the full length ballet he created for them in 2013, not to the traditional Prokofiev music but, typical for him, to his own blend of Tchaikovsky scores. 

The exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Dansmuseet – Museum Rolf de Maré in Stockholm.

Opening hours:
Saturdays & Sundays 12 pm – 5 pm
FREE admission and guide on site.
The exhibition will be on display from May 7 until September 11.

See Mats Ek’s work at the Kennedy Center:
Royal Swedish Ballet commissioned Swedish choreographer Mats Ek--acclaimed for his daring interpretations of The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and other classics--to create a contemporary adaptation of a timeless love story. The result: Juliet and Romeo, a visionary take on Shakespeare's immortal tragedy brimming with modern twists, and the 2015 Olivier Award winner for Best New Dance Production.
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