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Deborah Hay’s collaboration with Cullberg to reach finish line

On the same day that the last audience restrictions are lifted across the country on September 29, Cullberg premieres Deborah Hay’s new work Horse, the solos at Stora Teatern in Gothenburg. The music for Horse, the solos is written by Austin-based composer Graham Reynolds who makes music for film, television, theater, dance, radio, clubs and concert halls.

Since 2019, the American choreographer Deborah Hay is associated artist with Cullberg. Last winter, the dancers premiered Hay’s latest collaboration with the company; Horse the solos, but for an empty theater. When the work and the dancers now finally meet an audience at Stora Teatern in Gothenburg, the same day as the audience restrictions in Sweden are lifted, it is long awaited.

“Rejecting the myth of emptiness was the first step in choreographing Horse, the solos. It is also the first step for the dancers performing this evening length work. This was true for its first performance in a theater with lights, sound, and costumes but without an audience or cameras of any kind. This will also be true for its premiere with an audience in Gothenburg”, says Deborah Hay.

The recent years have meant difficulties for internationally active choreographers, the creative process has repeatedly been forced to take new paths. Deborah Hay, who lives in Austin, Texas, has not been able to travel to Sweden during the pandemic, instead she was filmed dancing the solo pieces in Austin. The recording was then used in the rehearsal and Hay choreographed over link, with the dancers in Cullberg’s studio together with the rehearsal leader Jeanine Durning. With Horse, the solos, the soon-to-be four-year collaboration between dance icon Deborah Hay and Cullberg ends.

As an associate artist, Hay has re-staged The Match from 2004, a work for four dancers that was acclaimed after its world premiere in New York. Already in the autumn of 2015, Cullberg had a premiere of the newly created work Figure a Sea, a collaboration between Deborah Hay and the composer Laurie Anderson. The work is one of the company’s most successful and has, among other things, taken Cullberg on tour in Sweden and Europe, on a long US tour, to the Venice Biennale and Montpellier Danse. Later this autumn, the Mercat de les Flors stage in Barcelona will present a retrospective of Hay’s art, which includes both The Match and Figure a Sea with Cullberg.

On Deborah Hay
Deborah Hay, born 1941 in Brooklyn, has achieved icon status among choreographers. Her work was formulated in 1960s experimental Judson Dance Theatre in New York, one of the most radical and influential post-modern art movements. Hay’s dances center on undoing the body’s reliance on learned behavior by enlarging the field from which a dancer can resource movement. She spent many years choreographing solo works for notable artists including Mikhail Baryshnikov. The choreographer William Forsythe helped influence her international career after seeing the premiere of her quartet The Match in 2005 at the Montpellier Dance Festival. She has been awarded many grants and awards including the inaugural and groundbreaking Doris Duke Artist Award in 2012. On May 5, 2015 France’s Minister of Culture and Communication awarded Hay the title of Chevallier de L’Ordre Des Arts et Des Lettres.

In 2015, Deborah Hay created the work Figure a Sea directly for Cullberg Ballet, to music by Laurie Anderson. The work has been highly acclaimed by audience and critics all over the world, toured in the US, and all over Europe and been presented at prestigious festivals such as Montpellier Danse and the International Festival of Contemporary Dance of the Biennale di Venezia in 2018.  2019-2021, Deborah Hay is associated artist at Cullberg.

On Graham Reynolds
Called “the quintessential modern composer” by the London Independent , Austin-based composer-bandleader-improviser Graham Reynolds creates, performs, and records music for film, theater, dance, rock clubs, and concert halls with collaborators across a multitude of disciplines. Heard throughout the world in films, TV, stage, and radio, he recently scored Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette with Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, and Laurence Fishburne for Annapurna Pictures, Happy Jail for Netflix, the Rude Mechs’ Stop Hitting Yourself for Lincoln Center Theater, Ballet Austin’s Grimm Tales , and a multi-year commission from Ballroom Marfa, The Marfa Triptych . He has performed on an array of legendary stages, from the Kennedy Center to the Green Mill Tavern to the Conan O’Brien Show. His Creative Capital Award winning project, Pancho Villa from a Safe Distance , a bilingual cross-border opera created with librettists Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol (Mexico City) and director Shawn Sides (Rude Mechs), has been staged in over a dozen cities in North America.

Artistic team Horse, the solos
Choreography: Deborah Hay
Music: Graham Reynolds
Lighting design: Minna Tiikkainen
Costume: Behnaz Aram
With: 7 dancers, 2 casts.
For interviews and more information, contact:

Erica Espling, Marketing and PR Manager Cullberg
+46 (0)70-602 27 01

About Cullberg
Cullberg is the national and international repertoire contemporary dance company in Sweden, continuously co-creating to make cutting edge dance relevant for the many. Together with choreographers from all over the world, we are exploring ideas on how dance can be defined, produced and presented. Those explorations are the pillars of a company that is constantly in motion at the heart of the international arena. 2019-2022, Cullberg works exclusively with three associated artists: Alma Söderberg, Deborah Hay and Jefta van Dinther. The core of the company consists of 17 extraordinary individual dancers with a central role in the creations. Cullberg’s works emerge from the times we are living in, as part of the socio-political environment including equality, diversity and sustainability. Cullberg is led by artistic director Gabriel Smeets and managing director Stina Dahlström. Cullberg is part of Riksteatern – The Swedish National Touring Theatre.