Current Works

Alexander Ekman's

Cacti

in De Novo 2013

Contemporary dance’s newest star will make his Australian debut with his internationally acclaimed Cacti – a work that, with humour and verve, gently pokes fun at the pretentions of dance.

In the brazen and brilliant Cacti, Swedish choreographic prodigy Alexander Ekman turns his keen eye upon the scene that birthed him: contemporary dance itself. A gleeful and knowing parody of the art form’s greater excesses, Cacti is an affectionate, pointed and often hilarious deconstruction of the affectations of dance.

Sixteen dancers stand, seemingly trapped, on oversized Scrabble tiles. While a string quartet plays, and spoken recordings give tongue-in-cheek narration of the action, the dancers run, fall, writhe and try to escape their invisible prisons; eventually – and this is the important bit – they each acquire a cactus. But what does it all mean?

One of the world’s most heralded young dance talents, Ekman approaches his works with the eye of an auteur, often personally designing the sets and composing the scores for his works. At just 28 years old, he already stands among the royalty of European dance, having collaborated with the Royal Swedish, Norwegian National and Goteborg ballets, and served as in-house choreographer with the legendary Nederlands Dans Theater 2. This Australian premiere of his masterwork represents an intriguing chance to see a new master in action.