Alexander Ekman

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Alexander Ekman
Born1984 (age 34–35)
Stockholm, Sweden
EducationRoyal Swedish Ballet
OccupationChoreographer, dancer

Karl Wilhelm Alexander Ekman (born 1984) is a Swedish ballet dancer and choreographer. His choreographies have been performed by Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, the Boston Ballet, the Dresden Semperoper Ballett [de], the Nederlands Dans Theater, the Norwegian National Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, the São Paulo City Ballet [pt], the Sydney Dance Company and the Wiener Staatsballett. For some of them he has designed sets and costumes or composed the music.[1]


Ekman trained at the Royal Swedish Ballet school in Stockholm. At 15 he danced at Europa danse in France and discovered many international choreograåhers. At 16 he began his professional dance career and joined the Royal Swedish Ballet. One year later he moved to The Netherlands to join the Netherlands Dance theatre 2 in Den Haag, and after that Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm. After 5 years as a professional dancer when he was 21 he decided to become a choreographer on full-time and began his freelancing career.[2][3]


He was a host of the Swedish radio program Sommar in 2015.[4] In 2013 he received an Olivier Award nomination for his choreography of the original work Cacti. His other notable works include Tyll, A Swan Lake, and Episode 31.

Ekman trained at the Royal Swedish Ballet School from 1994 to 2001. He danced at the Royal Swedish Opera from 2001 to 2002 and then at the Nederlands Dans Theater II from 2002 to 2005. He danced for the Cullberg Ballet from 2005 to 2006, where he made his debut as a choreographer.[5]

In 2006, when he was 22, he wrote “Flockwork” for the Netherlands Dance Theatre.[6] He has created around 50 pieces for dance companies around the world.[7] In 2008 Ekman collaborated with Swedish Choreographer Mats Ek at the Stads Theatre in Stockholm. He created video content for the play Hållplats.[8]

His work “Cacti” (2010) has been performed by 20 dance companies worldwide. After struggling with becoming reviewed in public, Ekman decided to create a piece about opinions and our need to criticize each other. A comment on the “high browed snobbish art world”.[9] In 2012 Ekman began his collaboration with Swedish Composer Mikael Karlsson. Together they have created around 8 pieces together. Including “A swan lake”, “Midsummer night's dream”, “COW” and “PLAY”.

Ekman created A Swan Lake in 2014 but this time in his own version. It received a lot of response from around the world. He filled 6000 liters of water at stage which created a real lake.[10] In 2015 Ekman created Midsummer night's dream in his own version at the Royal Swedish Ballet which became an instant hit with the audience and critics. Later this production was captured and showed on both Swedish and French national TV.[11] In 2017 Ekman created “KREATIV” together with Swedish Production Company “Anna and Paul”. This is A documentary / study interviewing scientists, artists and creators.[12] The documentary was broadcast on Swedish National Television (SVT) as well as the San Francisco Dance film festival in 2018. Ekman Created “PLAY” for The Paris Opera Ballet in 2017. It is a full evening work which played for 25 sold-out performances in December 2017 at the famous Garnier Opera in Paris. PLAY has also been captured for the Screen and broadcast on Swedish Television.[13]

In 2018, he danced his own choreography in Thoughts on Bergman at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysée in Paris.[14]


A Swan Lake[edit]

A Swan Lake is a full-length work created by Ekman. It is created for The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet. Ekman created it together with Henrik Vibskov. The music is composed by Mikael Karlsson. Ekman created A Swan Lake on stage with company by filling the stage with 5,000 liters of water.[15][16]

Midsummer Night's Dream[edit]

Midsummer Night's Dream ballet was choreographed by Alexander Ekman in 2015 and directed by Mikael Jönsson. The music was created by Mikael Karlsson. Ekman created it for the Royal Swedish Ballet inspired by the customary Swedish Midsummer Eve festival. It has been described as a free interpretation of Shakespeare's play.[17][18]


COW is another ballet by Ekman. It features twelve successive scenes. In this ballet Ekman related human behavior in everyday life to the behavior of Cows. It is composed by Mikael Karlsson. Cow is choreographed by Alexander Ekman himself. Music was created by Mikael Karlsson, costumes by Henrik Vibskov, ligh by Fabio Antoci video by TM Rives. [19]


Ekman created 'PLAY' together with Karlsson which creates a unique bond between dance and music. Play was created for the Paris Opera Ballet. It is a dance music theatre piece that recalls the age of childhood. It is written and directed by Ekman himself.[20]


Ekman created Cacti in 2010. It is one of the successful pieces. In Cacti 16 dancers together creates rhythms. In 2010, Queen Beatrice of Holland gave Cocti as a gift to the royalties of Norway on a state visit in Oslo. In 2010 it was nominated for best new dance production for Swan award in Netherlands.



  • Medea Award – Inventor of the year – Midsummer Night's dream. 2015[23][24]
  • National Dance award UK 2010
  • Zwaan Awards Netherlands – Cacti 2010
  • The Birgit Cullberg Scholarship 2015[25]
  • The Swedish Såstaholm Award 2015[26]
  • The Faust Award – COW – Germany 2016


  1. ^ "The National Ballet of Canada". Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  2. ^ "About – Alexander Ekman".
  3. ^ "Alexander Ekman". Opéra national de Paris.
  4. ^ Radio, Sveriges. "Alexander Ekman – Sommar & Vinter i P1". (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Alexander Ekman | Cullberg". Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Flockwork – Alexander Ekman".
  7. ^ CND. "Flockwork. Alexander Ekman – Compañía Nacional de Danza – España".
  8. ^ "Alexander Ekman (repertoire)". Barton Movement presents: Axis Connect.
  9. ^ "Interview: Alexander Ekman, Director / Choreographer, on Cacti and other things". 17 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Sydney Dance Company CounterMove, Sydney previews start".
  11. ^ "KARLSSON, M.: Midsummer Night's Dream [Ballet] (Royal Swedish Ballet, 2016) (NTSC) – BAC141".
  12. ^ "TELMONDIS – audiovisual producer of live events".
  13. ^ "Mikael Karlsson – Alexander Ekman's "Play"".
  14. ^ Caroline Bocquet (11 June 2018). L’hommage de la danse suédoise à Ingmar Bergman. ResMusica. Accessed October 2018.
  15. ^ "A Swan Lake". Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Alexander Ekman: A Swan Lake". 30 September 2014.
  17. ^ "Midsummer Night's Dream – Joffrey Ballet".
  18. ^ Lars Collin. "Sommarmagi blir Ekmans sorti". (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Alexander Ekman's COW".
  20. ^ "Play – Alexander Ekman s'amuse et amuse le Palais Garnier". 11 December 2017.
  21. ^ "Play: Alexander Ekman choreographs play". Opéra national de Paris.
  22. ^ "Alexander Ekman: the dance world needs to change – Daily Review: Film, stage and music reviews, interviews and more".
  23. ^ Lars Ring. ""Utvandrarna" årets bästa iscensättning". (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  24. ^ "2015". Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  25. ^ "Birgit Cullberg-stipendiet". Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  26. ^ "Såstaholmspris till Alexander Ekman". Göteborgs-Posten (in Swedish). Retrieved 22 October 2018.