Alexander Ekman, one the world’s most pre-eminent contemporary choreographers, has created a new ballet for the Royal Swedish Ballet. In Eskapist, the principal dancer is allowed to daydream and disappear into an imaginary world. Ekman’s creative team also includes composer Mikael Karlsson and the fashion/costume designer Henrik Vibskov. Royal Swedish Opera, April 5 - 27 2019.
Alexander Ekman is back at the RSO after a string of successes including the first performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the RSO, Play at the Opéra National de Paris and A Swan Lake in Oslo. This time, he invites the audience to participate in an escape from reality.
“I have ‘escapised’ a lot more than I thought I did,” says Alexander Ekman. “But I never realized that I was engaging in escapism. I have just found myself in various places where I have simply become absorbed in my own thoughts. I have built up inner worlds populated by persons I have never met, but who later appear as characters in my work. I have discovered that I’m a very active escapist.”
“The term ‘escapist’ has had a bad reputation”, says the dramaturge, Carina Nildalen. “But the image of the escapist and their daydreams is undergoing a change; nowadays it refers to people who take time out from reality. People who in a balanced way seamlessly move between reality and the escapist’s inner realm. It allows for the development of and acts as a boost for new solutions.”
Alexander Ekman shares his love of surprise and variation with the composer Mikael Karlsson. The process begins when Alexander comes up with an idea, a concept; then Mikael takes over and adds the music. Rather like an opera composer working from a libretto.
Henrik Vibskov is the only Scandinavian fashion designer represented at the Paris Fashion Week.
“Working with ballet and opera is totally different from working with a fashion show,
in terms of function as well as structure, but also visually. I’m currently participating in three dance productions with Alexander. We seem to work well together when it comes to exploring ideas and sharing the creative process, which means that we constantly need to make rapid decisions about what works and what doesn’t.”
“Working with Alexander is pure joy,” says Henrik Vibskov.
37 dancers from the Royal Swedish Ballet perform in Eskapist. In the title role: Principal Dancer Oscar Salomonsson.
Fantastically entertaining and meticulously presented. The backstage crew deserve an applause that is as long as that of the dancers for this technically magnificent, completely seamless, performance.
Eskapist is an entertaining, magnificent and beautiful defense of stepping out of the box and engage in independent thinking, play, flights of the imagination and dreaming.
A generous show inside the fabulous world of Ekman.
An entertaining, thought-provoking and magnificent evening at the Opera.
It’s magical … a dizzying escape from reality.
Sveriges Radio, Kulturnytt
Kungliga Operan är Sveriges nationalscen för opera och balett.