5.–6. juni

Dancing with Bergman

Hundreårsmarkering av den store filmskaperen


For aller første gang møtes Mats Ek, Johan Inger og Alexander Ekman i Operaen. Tre generasjoner svenske koreografer samles for å hedre en av sine mest berømte landsmenn: filmskaperen Ingmar Bergman, som ville fylte 100 år i 2018.

Mats Ek har vært leder for Cullbergbaletten, og regnes som en av vår tids dyktigste og mest respekterte koreografer og dansere. Vi får nå gleden av å beundre ham på scenen, sammen med sin muse og faste dansepartner, Ana Laguna.

Sammen med Ek møter vi også Alexander Ekman og Johan Inger, to sprudlende personligheter innen internasjonal koreografi. I deres verk blandes klassisk og moderne dansespråk, og dramatiseringen lar danserne utvise en enorm kraft, som vi for eksempel husker fra Ekmans A Swan Lake her i Operaen.

Ingmar Bergman var en mester i å analysere familien og menneskelig atferd i sine filmer. Ved å dukke ned i denne «familiefølelsen», ønsker de tre danserne og koreografene å gi sitt bidrag til hundreårsmarkeringen av den store filmskaperen.


Koreografi Johan Inger 
Fremføres av Anna Herrmann, Nina Botkay, Olivia Ancona, Alva Inger Armenta
Videodeltakelse Heléne Friberg
Koreograf assistent Carolina Armenta
Dramaturg Gregor Acuña-Pohl
Scenografi  Curt Allen Wilmer
Lysdesign  Jörgen Jansson
Kostymedesign  Johan Inger og Carolina Armenta
Musikk Monteverdi «Il Ballo delle Ingrate, SV.167» (1608)
Innspilling: Les Arts Florissants, musikalsk ledelse William Christie (1983)

Thoughts on Bergman 

Koreografi Alexander Ekman 
Solo av Alexander Ekman
Tekst Ekman/Bergman
Video Yaniv Cohen
Musikk Chopin nocturne No. 2 i Ess-dur op.9 

MEMORY (2000-2018) 

Koreografi Mats Ek
Fremføres av Mats Ek og Ana Laguna 
Lysdesign Jörgen Jansson
Musikk Nico Rölcke

Samproduksjon Den Norske Opera & Ballett/Productions Internationales Albert Sarfati

Dancing with Bergman inngår i Heddadagene.

  • Koreografi Mats Ek, Alexander Ekman, Johan Inger
  • Videodesigner Bengt Wanselius
  • Teknisk sjef Jörgen Jansson

Memory of Bergman

In 1966, Ingmar Bergman left his post as Artistic Director of the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, Sweden. Shortly after, I joined the theatre as an assistant to another of the great directors of Swedish theatre: Alf Sjoberg. The succeeding Artistic Director, actor and author Erland Josefsson, was a close friend of Bergman's, who was still electrifying the house at different levels: directing productions, in the corridors, in the canteen gossip and at various meetings in the new director's office.

My first own production in the building, Racine's Andromaque, was with actors who voluntarily worked in their free time. At one of the last of the few rehearsals on the Small Stage, I felt an undefined presence: in the dark, at the far back, sat Bergman. It was a mixed experience, at first scary, then comforting - he cared. Later on, he had a part in giving me my first commission for the Main Stage.

"The film is my mistress, but the theatre is my faithful wife" A quote from Bergman which I think is authentic from witnessing his constant presence in the house. I happened to have my room next to his room - more of an apartment, recently and exclusively restored for him, then scandalized in parts of the press and whisperingly criticized at the theatre, due to its costs. Yes, Bergman was controversial. He was met with a mixture of admiration, respect, but also fear, as well as longing for collaboration. The impact of his personality wherever he popped up, led to a sort of love-hate relationship, often shadowing the real thing: the profession he passionately shared with everyone else, contributing more than most of us.

To serve as his assistant meant a constant thrill. Every day was an adventure. Due to his fear of chaos, he came to rehearsals extremely well prepared. This gave him, paradoxically, the freedom to grab unforeseen moments, as well as the others' initiatives of creativity. Then strictly back on track; pedantic with time, props and silence, broken by his sudden outcries of enthusiasm, then back to eagle-eyed supervision. Conventionally seen, Bergman was not a physical being: skinny limbs, hands without weight, a small bulging belly and slightly spastic gesticulations. Nevertheless, his body was his last and very useful resort! When he couldn't find words (which rarely happened), he sprung up onto the stage, vividly demonstrating a movement or reaction, and with a jerky twist and snake-like precision, nailing its very essence. Then with a boyish giggle admitting how bad an actor he was, followed by a story (probably half true), over earlier failures. This turbulent crisscrossing in processing the rehearsal situation was a life-saving necessity for his imperturbable urge for achieving the wanted result, always within the given time frame.

At the end of the 1960s, in Sweden as all over Europe, the demand for leftish political consciousness became, also in films, a reason for ongoing devaluation of Bergman. At the time I found it unjust, probably coloured by contact with him, meaning that his focus on individual situations was his expression of empathy, demanding truth and engagement in its own right. Today, with the ambition to prepare for participating in "Bergman in Dance", and after viewing all his films and television productions, I find the accusations wrong from an other angle. Films as The Silence (1963), Persona (1966), and The Shame (1968), depict a dark and violent background, not defined in terms of attitude. A political turmoil, not understood by the characters, yet the are influenced by the alien brutality. At that time this focus was considered cowardly, but today it gives those films an unforeseen actuality.

We sometimes had short conversations outside our neighboring rooms. One day, with our hands just about to grab our handles, Bergman stopped, gave me a sidelong glance, an odd smile (I could sense his unusually long canine teeth), and asked, " You don't spy on me, do you?" After my denial, a short pause, a nod, and he dissolved into his chamber.
I didn't spy. But I watched him closely. At all times. Inevitably.

| Mats Ek

The film is my mistress, but the theatre is my faithful wife

Johan Inger

Johan Inger, foto: Urban Jörén

The Swede Johan Inger (Stockholm, 1967) completed his dance training at the Royal Swedish Ballet School and at the National Ballet School in Canada. From 1985 to 1990 he danced with the Swedish Royal Ballet in Stockholm, the last year performing as a soloist. Fascinated by the works of Kylián, Inger was convinced that a next step in his dance career should take him to Nederlands Dans Theater.

In 1990 he joined Nederlands Dans Theater I and was a high-profile dancer in this company until 2002. When Inger tried his hand at Nederlands Dans Theater’s annual Choreography Workshops (entitled Switch), Jiří Kylián noticed his talent for choreography. After four workshop pieces, Inger was allowed in 1995 to make his first choreography for Nederlands Dans Theater II. The resulting Mellantid marked his official debut as a choreographer. It was part of the Holland Dance Festival and was immediately a resounding success. It brought him the Philip Morris Finest Selection Award 1996 in the Contemporary Dance category. In 2001 Mellantid was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award in the Best New Dance Production category.

Since his debut, Inger has made various works for Nederlands Dans Theater (like Sammanfall, Couple of Moments, Round Corners, Out of breath). For his ballets Dream Play and Walking Mad he received the Lucas Hoving Production Award in October 2001. Walking Mad - as it was later performed by Cullberg Ballet - was awarded the Danza & Danza’s Award 2005. Inger himself was nominated with Dutch prizes such as the Golden Theatre Dance Prize 2000 by the VSCD Dance Panel and the Merit Award 2002 from the Stichting Dansersfonds ’79. In 2013, Johan received the prestigious Carina Ari Award in Stockholm for his worldwide promotion of Swedish art and dance.

Inger left Nederlands Dans Theater to take on the artistic leadership of Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm in 2003. Over the past years he has made various choreographies for this company: Home and Home, Phases, In Two, Within Now, As if, Negro con Flores and Blanco amongst others. And to celebrate Cullberg Ballet's 40th anniversary, he created the work Point of eclipse (2007).

From the summer of 2008 Inger ended his artistic directorship so as to devote himself entirely to choreography. In February 2009 he produced a new work for Cullberg Ballet entitled, Position of Elsewhere. In October 2009, Inger created dissolve in this for Nederlands Dans Theater I & II to celebrate the 50th jubilee season of the company.

Between 2009 and 2016, Johan Inger held the position as Associate Choreographer with Nederlands Dans Theater, creating for both companies ( NDT1+NDT2) regularly. In May 2010, the Göteborg Ballet in Sweden premièred Falter and in September 2010, Nederlands Dans Theater I premièred Tone Bone Kone, both were new creations. In 2011, Inger created the successful Rain Dogs, based on music by Tom Waits, for the Basel Ballett in Switzerland. In 2012, Inger made, I New Then, for Nederlands Dans Theater 2 and in 2013, Sunset Logic, for the Nederlands Dans Theater 1 in The Hague.

In September 2013 he created Tempus Fugit for Basel Ballet in Switzerland. B.R.I.S.A., was created in 2014 for Nederlands Dans Theater 2. In 2015, Inger presented his Carmen with the Compaňia Nacional de Danza in Madrid and another full-evening program based on the Sacre du printemps with the Royal Swedish Ballet in Stockholm. In the fall of 2015, he created One on One, for Nederlands Dans Theater 2, then Bliss for Aterballetto in March 2016 and was awarded by The Danza y Danza Prize 2016 for best Italian production.

In May 2016, Johan received the Benois de la Danse prize for his works One on One and Carmen. His latest work, a full evening piece Peer Gynt was premiered in May 2017 with Basel Ballet.

Alexander Ekman

Alexander Ekman, foto: J-PH. RAIBAUD

Alexander Ekman is an international choreographer/director, creating pieces for theatres, opera houses and museums. He also directs films and creates live performances/events in pop up locations around the world. Ekman has created and collaborated with around 45 dance companies worldwide, including the Royal Swedish Ballet, Cullberg Ballet, Compañia Nacional de Danza Goteborg Ballet, Iceland Dance Company, Bern Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Dance, Ballet de l’Opéra du Rhin, The Norwegian National Ballet, Boston Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Sydney Dance Company, The Royal Ballet of Denmark and Vienna Ballet. He has also created for festivals the French Europa Danse and the Athens International Dance Festival.

In 2005, at the International Choreography Competition of Hannover, Ekman was awarded first prize by the critics, and won second prize with Swingle Sisters (one of the ballets from his Sisters trilogy). During 2011, Ekman also worked as a teacher/choreographer at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City. Ekman’s 2010 work Cacti has become a worldwide hit and has been performed by 15 dance companies including Sydney Dance Company. The work was nominated for the Dutch Zwaan dance prize in 2010, the National Dance Award (UK) in 2012, and also for the prestigious British Olivier Award. In 2009, Ekman created the dance film 40 Meters Under for and with Cullberg Ballet, which was broadcasted on national Swedish television. That autumn, he collaborated with the renowned Swedish choreographer Mats Ek on video projections for Ek’s play HållPlats. Ekman also created an installation for the Modern Museum in Stockholm with dancers of Cullberg Ballet.

In 2012, he collaborated with Alicia Keys and incorporated her into his work Tuplet. In 2014, Ekman created his own version of Swan Lake, a new take on the most famous ballet of them all. A Swan Lake received enormous attention worldwide and returned to the Oslo Opera House in 2016. In 2017, he came to Paris for the first time, invited by TranscenDanses with the creation he conceived for the Norwegian Ballet, «A Swan Lake», which has been a triumph in Oslo and in Paris. Ekman filled the stage with 6,000 litres of water creating a real lake on stage. A Swan Lake is available on DVD and the documentary Rare Birds by TM Rives, shows the process of how it became possible to create a lake inside an opera house.

In 2015, Ekman created his own version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Royal Swedish Ballet. In September of that year, he received the Swedish Medea Award for “Inventor and renewer”. In 2016, he received the German theatre award “Der Faust” for his ballet COW for the Semperoper Ballet.

Mats Ek

Mats Ek
Mats Ek is the son of Anders Ek, one of Sweden’s most celebrated actors, and Birgit Cullberg, the choreographer and artistic director for the Cullberg Ballet Company. He was born in Malmö in 1945, and began a short period of dance studies in 1962 with Donya Feuer in Stockholm; in addition, he later took theatre studies in Norrköping.

The Early Years: From 1966 to 1973 Ek worked as stage director and assistant at the Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden and the Marionette Theatre in Stockholm. In 1972 he re-established his contact with dance, and in 1973 began dancing with the Cullberg Ballet.

Choreography: In 1974–5, Ek was a member of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf, then made his choreographic debut in 1976 with The Officer’s Servant, for the Cullberg Ballet, the first of many of his works formed on them. Through such early pieces as Soweto (1977) and The House of Bernarda (1978) he began to gain an international profile, one that was strengthened in the many subsequent works for the Cullberg Ballet, most immediately those of The Four Seasons (1978) and Antigone (1979).

In 1980–81 he became a member of Nederlands Dans Theater, and his associations with the company have continued in works later created for them: Over There (1990), Journey (1991) and A Sort Of (1997).

From 1980 to 1984, Ek shared the artistic directorship of the Cullberg Ballet with Birgit Cullberg. Then, in 1985, he was appointed sole artistic director, a post he held until 1993. Giselle (1982) and The Rite of Spring (1984), both for the Cullberg Ballet, had already shown his interest in reinterpreting the classical repertory, one fostered during his time in the company of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, with whom he performed such works as The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and Romeo and Juliet. This important strand of his choreographic exploration has continued with his own particular slants on the familiar presented in Swan Lake (1987), Carmen (1992) and The Sleeping Beauty (for the Hamburg Ballet, 1996).

After leaving the Cullberg Ballet in 1993 he continued to be prolific in his choreography, producing such works as She was Black (1995), and the TV ballet Smoke (1995), which he reworked as Solo for Two in the following year. He has also become a guest choreographer for the leading companies of the world, working with, among many others, the Royal Swedish Opera, the Norwegian Opera, Stuttgart Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, La Scala, Milan, Metropolitan Opera, New York, and Paris Opera Ballet.

In 2008 he created Place, a pas de deux for Ana Laguna and Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Black Radish for the Royal Swedish Ballet.

Ek’s style has become distinctive for its imaginative interpretations of storylines, in combination with a lyrical approach which conveys through movement the underlying emotions and feelings rather than just the narrative detail.

Theatre: Ek has retained his interest in other forms of theatre, staging productions of plays including Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta (Orion Theatre, Stockholm, 1998), and Molière’s Don Juan (1999), Racine’s Andromaque (2002) and Strindberg’s A Dream Play (2006) for the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm. In 2007 he staged Gluck’s Orphée for the Royal Swedish Opera.

2019: Mats Ek will create for the Ballet of the Opéra de Paris a new Bolero, as well as Another Place based on Franz Liszt’s piano sonata.



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juni 2018