Mats Ek: Carmen
The Cullberg Ballet, Choreography Mats Ek,
Cast: Ana Laguna, Marc Hwang, Yvan Auzely, Pompea Santoro, Geroge Elkin, Boaz Cohem
Running Time: 51 min
Recording Date: 1995
Menu languages: GB, D, F, SP
Region Code: 2,5
Picture Format: 4:3
Sound Format: PCM Stereo
Sel. No. 100 182 PAL
The first adaptation of Georges Bizet's music into a full-length ballet (the score's many Spanish dance rhythms made it ideal to dance to) was brought to the stage for the first time by Roland Petit and his Les Ballets de Paris in 1949. Alongside the practice of arranging original extracts from the opera and the orchestral suites composed by Bizet himself into ballet music, the version written by Rodion Schtschedrin on the basis of the original score became especially popular. Mats Ek also used Rodion Schtschedrin's Carmen Suite as the basis for his choreography. With decor and costumes by Marie-Louise Ekman and lighting design by Goran Westrup, he created his new perspective which shifted attention more towards Don Jose and the difficult decision the officer has to make between his mother and the world... The production is around fifty minutes long and involves seventeen dancers, and its world premiere was on 13 May 1992 at the Cullberg Ballet in Norsberg, Stockholm (Mats Ek went on to produce the piece with numerous other ballet companies). This version was made in 1994 with the ensemble of Sweden's Cullberg Ballet.
A documentary of the Cullberg Ballet
The Cullberg Ballet has acted as a worldwide cultural ambassador for Sweden for more than forty years now. The dancer Birgit Cullberg (1908-1999), who studied with Kurt Joos and Lilian Karina, then was a freelance choreographer and dancer in Sweden. From 1952 to 1957 she was a member of the Royal Opera Dance Ensemble in Stockholm and was its principal choreographer from 1963 to 1966. In 1967, she founded her own company, the Cullberg Ballet. Unlike other Swedish ballet companies who felt themselves committed exclusively to the classical ballet repertoire, Birgit Cullberg strove in her numerous choreographies to unite the classical repertoire with the stylistic techniques of modern free dance. This symbiosis of dance on points and free dance, which today largely determines the aesthetics of the international ballet scene, originated in the imaginativeness of this exceptional artiste. Her psychologically realistic full-length ballets, which often gave well-known ballets a new, more modern story line, have remained influential to this day.
Birgit Cullberg's son, Mats Ek, was born in Malmo in 1945. As Artistic Director and choreographer of the Cullberg Ballet from 1985 to 1993, he has won a worldwide reputation for the company.