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Cullbergbaletten celebrates 50 years!

This year Cullbergbaletten celebrates 50 years of extraordinary ground breaking contemporary dance. For the anniversary, the company will present a unique encounter between two monumental works that were created for and with the company: Eurydice is Dead (1968) by Birgit Cullberg and Protagonist (2016) by Jefta van Dinther. The celebration program will be presented at Dansens Hus, Stockholm 27-29 April 2017.

“We are delighted and excited to present Eurydice is Dead and to show it alongside our latest creation Protagonist by Jefta van Dinther. Both pieces explore the need for, and the aftermath of a revolution. To present these two art works on the same stage on one evening is more than just a way of connecting the past with the present. From this encounter of two monumental choreographies from Cullbergbaletten’s repertoire a new energy will emerge that allows us to see the intrinsic artistic quality of each work”, says Gabriel Smeets, artistic director.

Eurydice is Dead premiered in January 1968. A political creation at the time, the piece focused on the individual’s fight against power and oppression, inspired by the movie Battle of Algiers (directed by Gillo Pontecorvo) and the Greek mythology. Protagonist by Jefta van Dinther was created with fourteen dancers from the company and premiered at Julidans in Amsterdam in the summer of 2016.


Jubilee program, Dansens Hus, Stockholm 27-29 April 2017

Eurydice is Dead and Protagonist, Dansens Hus, 27-29 April

Eurydice is Dead
Choreography Birgit Cullberg
Restaging Mats Ek and Ana Laguna
Original costume and set design Eva Ek-Schaeffer
Costume Mylla Ek
Lighting design Martin Säfström
With 14 dancers.

Choreography and direction Jefta van Dinther
Music and sound design David Kiers
Lighting design Minna Tiikkainen
Set design SIMKA
Song and voice ELIAS
With 14 dancers.

Seminar 27 April, Dansens Hus, Lilla scen

Where does the dance go when it is danced? – A seminar on dance, memories, legacy and archives.

The ephemeral is one of the core characteristics of the art form called dance. Dance happens in space and time, in a limited encounter of dancers and audience.  Dance can hardly be caught in a material form to be preserved to survive. Yes, we have videos, films, notes, notation forms; they are an attempt to capture the movement. But the movement itself, in that space and that time, is gone forever. As Marina Abramovic recently said about restaging performances “It is a living art. If you don’t re-perform that, it becomes a photograph in a book or a bad video”.

The ephemeral quality makes it impossible to put the dance in an archive box and bring it back in the moment someone wants to experience it again. The dance, after it is danced, is taken home by the audience. Becomes part of memories, mixed with imagination, projection, deformation. In the dancers body the dance lives on as a body memory. What is it that we need to do with a choreographers’ legacy? Restaging the choreographies? Cherishing the essence of the choreographers’ views on dance?  Researching and studying them and projecting a path into the future with new works, with new dance?

This seminar will focus on these questions and try to find answers.


9:00-9:45 Registration
9:45-10:00 Introduction by Gabriel Smeets (Artistic Director, Cullbergbaletten).
10:00-10:30 Keynote by Thomas Thorausch (Tanzarchiv Deutschland)

10:30-12:00 Panel I.
A personal conversation about the legacies of Birgit Cullberg and Pina Bausch visiting memories, family matters and responsibility, state affairs, organization of the future and more.

Moderator: Anna Efraimsson (Senior Lecturer in Choreography DOCH, Producer/Curator). With: Salomon Bausch (Executive Director Pina Bausch Foundation), Mats Ek (Choreographer/Director)

12:00-13:15 Lunch

13:15-14:15 Panel II.
We reflect on the dancer as a bearer of a personal movement archive, derived from work with one or many choreographers. This panel will offer reflections on how this view on the individual performer as an archive relates to legacy, both for the dancers and for the sector in large.

Moderator: Magnus Nordberg (General Manager/Producer, Nordberg Movement). With: Susan Kozel (Professor of new media, Malmö University), Agnieszka Sjökvist Dlugoszewska (Dancer, Cullbergbaletten), Rani Nair (Dancer/Choreographer).

14:15-14:30 Break

14:30-16:00 Panel III.
Piercing through and knitting together past, present and futures, archives are both: always already there, always yet to come. The panel will question how our archives are potential ways of world-making: how they normalize, legitimize and aesthetize gestures, movements and bodies; how they are giving visibility to some bodies while leaving others in absence. In dialogue, we will investigate the role of projection and speculation in archival practice: the queer potential of the past, immaterial histories and imaginary bodies.

Moderator: Sandra Noeth (Dramaturge/Curator and senior lecturer at DOCH). With: Manuel Pelmus (Choreographer), Zoë Poluch (Choreographer), Eike Wittrock (Curator/Dance Historian, University of Hildesheim)

16:00-16:30 Wrap Up by Gabriel Smeets + further Q&A

3 x Birgit, Södra Teatern 20-21 May
Cullbergbaletten’s dancers Adam Schütt, Eva Mohn and Daniel Sjökvist create choreographies inspired by or based on Birgit Cullberg’s works. These unique interpretations are Cullbergbaletten’s birthday gift to the audience and will be presented at Södra Teatern. FREE ADMISSION!

Video competition
Cullbergbaletten invites everybody between 13 and 18 years to create short films inspired by Birgit Cullberg’s life and work. The winners will be presented at Dansens Hus, in the intermission, 27 April.

Previous performances

Dansens Hus, Stockholm
Dansens Hus, Stockholm
Dansens Hus, Stockholm