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Rugs ek dissertation


In this composition I will present one of the greatest choreographers of the twentieth century, Pads Ek. I will describe his specific stylistic characteristics, designs and move vocabulary bringing as examples some of his most important re-adapted works such as Giselle, Swan Lake and Sleeping Splendor.

Life and career

Rugs Ek came to be in Malmo, Sweden on the 18 of April 1945. He originated in a very culturally active qualifications: he was the son of a famous Swedish actor Anders Ek and the internationally known choreographer Birgit Cullberg, founder and director of the Cullberg Ballet, his sister Mal was a great actress wonderful brother Niklas a dancer.

Mats Ek started his dance research (Martha Graham technique) with Doya Feur in 62 alongside with drama studies. In 1965 he became a complete time episode student at the Marie University but couple of years later this individual returned to dance teaching at the Stockholm Ballet Academy. His initial theatrical doing work experience began as the producer then director from the Puppet Theater in Stockholm.

Through the season 1980-1981, he was associated with the Nederland Dans le marché de Theater while dancer along with choreographer. Several years later this individual joined the Cullberg Interlude as a dancer and in 85 he started to be the imaginative director of it, he described the company intended for eight years. He kept it in 1993 becoming replaced by Lidstrom and Wennergren Juras.

Re-making of the ballet timeless classics

“Over a decade ago I saw it(Giselle) to get the 1st time- with Makarova. The girl was really gripped me. Previously then, I thought the traditional story of Giselle contains many hidden options which are certainly not recognized. There are many trails leading inside, but are not used. They rest fallow or else are powered over

(Ek, Mats interviewed by Tegeder, Ulrich. Create characters, particular people. Ballet International, 5, 1983: 19)

Mats Ek is a very impressive choreographer of his time, the post modern age. Postmodernism is known as a movement that rebels against traditional suggestions. Mats Ek is the man of his time fully soaked up by the rebellion that was happening individuals years. This new ideas stimulate him to rebel up against the traditional interlude classics significantly modifying these people and giving his very own interpretation of these. All of his works are still narrative performs but thestoryline of all the ballets is updated.

“The investigation of story alleys, epic paths and metaphorical tunnels is what provides the primary incitement for re-telling those stories by creating new dances

(Giannandrea Poesio, Dancing Instances, October the year 2003 page 23)

His alternate storylines happen to be pure fact not fairytales, he is not interested in summary concepts, this individual change the standard viewpoint putting on stage actual themes. He gives the market a flavor of contemporary truth.

“A fairytale is a lovely little new, but on the door read: Explosive!  Mats Ek

The most famous ballets he reinterpreted are classic ballets just like Giselle (1982), Swan Pond (1987) and Sleeping Splendor (1996).


Exercise mats Ek’s Giselle is anything completely different via Perrot’s initial version. The smoothness of the small Giselle is completely flipped more than; she is not the of sixteen years old faithful girl although a passionate and sexual effective woman. In Giselle in fact , Ek introduces and shows sexuality and love seen such a sexual 1 and not a romantic one ever again.


Swan Lake

“A lonely, to some extent weaker than the-average-Prince-Siegfried, whom questions his sexuality (think Oedipus complex) and his mom’s open issues in attempting to marry him to someone just like herself. The Knight in shining armor encountersandrogynous beings, swans that waddle throughout the ground rather than the graceful drinking water creatures that individuals know coming from Petipa/Ivanov.  (http://www.theballetbag.com/2012/07/13/mats-ek-biography/)


Sleeping Magnificence

“The adolescent Princess Aurora falls in like with “the wrong guy and ends up in a drug-induced coma. Carabosse appears like a drug dealer and seduces Aurora into pricking her finger with the “needle. At Aurora’s birth the tooth faries are expectant mothers nurses and later they are put culture character types out of a TV show, even though the Prince is a spectator. 


“Ek has made a great break through the Sleeping Magnificence we know and love, leaving not a solitary stone of Petipa’s edifice standing, renouncing all the choreographic gems cut by the imperial jeweller of the Tsarist ballet

(Vollmer, Horst. Irreverently Classical: Mats Ek stages Sleeping Beautywith the Hamburg Entracte. Ballet International, 7, 1996: 19)

Törnrosa ” GöteborgsOperans Balett


Additionally, there are some functions that seem not to follow a precise storyline like Smoke cigars (1995) or Appartement (1999) but they can not be described as abstract works mainly because oh their very own strong articles.

Stylistic components of his choreography

Mats Ek choreography provides two primary characteristic elements: clarity and irony. All his choreographies have an immediate and immediate message, really easy to understand by audience. With all the new variation of the traditionalballets in fact Ek wants to visit the point in the shortest period possible opposition his performs to the state and often unclear traditional ballets. “Clarity is definitely the choreographer’s key term, as opposed to what he calls the double entendre of the conferences and the cliche of traditional ballet, “clarity, however , must not be mistaken of simplicity. In both Giselle and Swan Lake there lies below an available, straightforward remarkable construction a great intricate amalgam os interpersonal, political, cultural and fictional references

(Fifty Contemporary choreographers) Another important component of Ek’s choreography, as the quote previously mentioned suggests, may be the dramatic development of his works. Ek does not only present remarkable situations towards the audience but he creates all around a great atmosphere of irony.

“Irony is a characteristic element of Ek’s choreography, through which strong images and dramatic situations frequently contrast with brief, hilarious episodes

(Fifty Contemporary choreographers second edition)

“Even amongst the darkest and most important moments of any not-so-happy-ending condition, he deals with to put fire-cracking comedian sections or references that enhance tremendously the dramatic build up by simply creating a unique game of contrasts and choreographic chiaroscuro

(Giannandrea Poesio, Dancing Times, October 2003 page 25)

Clear good examples can be found in Giselle and Swan Lake: The 2 male peasants’ comic duet in front of Albrecht’ fiancee just before the introduction of the noble and the end of the take action in Giselle. The three jesters’ dances right before the end with the lack field in Swan Lake. These comic episodes are released with wonderful ability every time a dramatic scenario reaches it is climax.


“Political, sociable, racial and sexual problems informed Ek’s first 3 creations, Kalfaktorn (1976), Saint George and the Dragon (1976) and Soweto (1977); psychological themes and gender problems played an important part in both House of Bernarda Messeskjorte (1978) and Antigone (1979) long before Giselle and Swan Lake (Fifty Contemporary choreographers second edition)

The main fascination of the choreographer is to check out the human psychologyand the human associations.

“In re-doing ballet classics, Ek’s creed is to give the characters alive, providing a clear description of their internal emotions and contrasts. The psychological portrayal of the position is therefore enlarged; the characters’ associations and their mental response to the development of the action are considered in greater depth  (Fifty Contemporary choreographers second edition)

There are various instances of different human relationships in Ek’s works:

Man/Woman in Smoking.

“In “Smoke Mats Ek shows the partnership between a guy and a lady (Niklas Ek and Sylvie Guillem). Every one of them has his or her own lifestyle as portrayed in their respective solos. They meet and mingle tenderly and strongly in two pas sobre deux. The smoke which in turn comes from their particular clothes and mouths expresses their connection. 


Family relationships (parent/ child) in Swan Lake while Prince Siegfried are given an oedipal complex or in Sleeping Beauty when Amanecer turns against herparents. Close to this is the incredibly theme of “motherhood that is looked into many times and also the one about gender issues in his performs. In Giselle, for example , the sole activity done by the girls is giving birth as the eggs caused stage by peasant female seem to recommend. Gender concerns are overall explored at home of Bernarda Alba (1980) since the key character is performed by a person and in Carmen where the primary character seems to be much more masculine than her man. Ek is, again, fighting against traditions; this individual rebels resistant to the traditional way of characterizing by stylized motions man and woman onstage. Ballet items tend to favor some motions to be performed by woman dancers and different ones simply by males. Ek instead attempts “to mix the boundaries of given gender-specific motions, finding that actually interesting (Ek, Mats in Jensen, Gunilla, Intervista a Mats Ek, Reggio Emilia Danza: Edizioni del escenario municipale Valli, 2002, p. 38)

“The movement vocabulary usefully leads to gender binaries leading to a lot more contemporary illustrations of man and girl. He exposes complexities of gender by inverting the far more regular, steryotiped and idealised statistics of classic ballet

(Midgelow Vida, Re-doing texts- inverting bodies, Pads Ek radically reconceived the classics, Interlude Theatre Journal)

Rich and poor in Giselle. From this work Ek introduces the social theme of class difference. Giselle, completely in love with knight in shining armor Albrecht that is clearly from a different cultural class, attempts to transgress the interpersonal rules. Finally she will become punished and rejected by her and Albrecht’s social class.

White-colored and dark in Soweto (1977). The mechanical doll’s endless movements represent the white people’ prejudices against the blacks. They can be repetitive movements and they symbolized the unchangeable ideas in the whites regarding the dark people.

Society and outsider in the second act of Giselle. Giselle is banned fromher cultural class and trapped into the mental medical center. This is an obvious example of the society oppression. Giselle is definitely banished since mentally turn off and considered unable to find her place into the contemporary society again.

(https://secure.staatsoper.de/922 -spielplan~ballett~veranstaltungen~vorstellung. html)

Movement Language

Mats Ek choreography is known as a totally new and innovative choreography. It is based upon contemporary methods. Ek gives much more importance to the bodyweight so his steps appearance more grounded and hefty. The ballroom dancers make a very good use of the ground. His motion language is really particular, we have a fluid usage of the body in contrast together with the lower area of the body that may be usually bend over (bend knees). Very interesting may be the constant study of competitors between inwards and outwards movements. The dancer seems first to perform a movement that gets to out via his human body’s centre that ends being suddenly drawn back. Ek’s movement language reflect his themes and narrative objective, it moves against the initial movements with the classical entracte.

“Ek’s choreography inverts the conventional language in the ballet, he eschews récréation codes. This individual leaves behind the conventions of gendered phrases and the organized hierarchy of the pas para deux in preference of more diverse representations

(Midgelow Vida, Reworking texts- inverting physiques, Mats Ek radically reconceived the classics, Ballet Theatre Journal)

A definite example has by the swans in Swan Lake. Inside the traditional ballet in fact swans are seen as beautiful and ethereal pets or animals perfectly coordinated with each other in every single movement. Ek’s swans instead are “a set of self-employed earthly beings that cross the stage with weighty gallops and stamping feet (Midgelow, Vida).



Mats Ek’s experience in various art form actually helped to build up his choreography. Mats Ek is not just a dancer although also a great actor and puppeteer. In certain of the choreographer’s works there are a few clear recommendations to literary works. Ek appears to be strongly from the famous dramatis William Shakespeare. As an example the relationship between Prince Siegfried and his mom can point out to us one between Hamlet and Gertrude.

Influences and muses

His mother, Birgit Cullberg, was your most important Ek’s influence. This individual dedicated an entire work to her: Old Kids (1989). This individual learned a lot from her while he was sharing with her the artistic leadership of the Cullberg Récréation. There are wide range of common themes between the a pair of them although different stylistic characteristics. Birgit’s style the truth is was far more closer to balletic style.

“The attention to psychological characterization, the sensitive portrayal of individual feelings, the juxtaposition of strong images and funny episodes is seen as typical attributes of both equally Cullberg’s and Ek’s creations

(Poesio, Giannandrea. Fifty Modern-day Choreographers)


Ana Laguna, Ek’s wife, is the inspiring muse in the choreographer. The girl originated Giselle character, the Swan Queen in Swan Lake and the protagonist in Carmen. “The character of Giselle may have never been born devoid of Ana Laguna (Giannandrea Poesio)

Ana Olvido, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Pads Ek


Good dancer who have inspired him was Sylvie Guilleme. Ek created for her three performs: Smoke, Damp Woman and Bye.


My spouse and i enjoyed a great deal writing this kind of essay. I do believe Mats Ek is a total genius, his choreographies happen to be brilliant first and progressive. I love his reinterpretations in the three ballet classics, fantastic choreographic design. The movements vocabulary is definitely unconventional and provocative. He can a choreographer simple and in the clarity and spontaneity all of us recognized his greatness. The messages arrive immediately to the audience, we do not need any explications or help to understand what the choreographer wants to claim we simply need to seat and revel in the performance.



Martha Bremser, Lorna Sanders. Fifty Modern-day Choreographers, Routledge Taylor. Birmingham and New York 2011. Reached on 9th of The spring 2013 Content articles:

Pesio, Giannandrea. Rugs Ek. The Dancing Occasions, October the year 2003. p 22. Accessed for the 12th of April 2013

Midgelow, Vida, Reworking texts-inverting body, Dancer Movie theater Journal 15(2) 1999. g 4-7. Accessed on the 12th of The spring 2013 Jensen Gunilla, Exercise mats Ek as well as the Cullberg Interlude, the Grooving Times. September 1997, l 993. Seen on the 13th of 04 2013


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