Alexander Ekman’s Cacti captivated audiences during the RNZB’s Speed of Light tour in 2016, with the New Zealand Herald hailing its ‘cheeky effervescence, irrepressible energy and beguiling wit.’ New Zealanders now have the opportunity to see Cacti again, together with two additional works by Ekman: Tuplet, created for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and premiered at The Joyce Theater, New York, in 2012; and Episode 31, made for the Senior Graduation Class at The Juilliard School and premiered in New York in 2011. The RNZB is the first company in the world to present these works together.
All three works showcase the hallmarks of Ekman’s style: exuberant and complex rhythms in which the dancers are at one with the music; a deep pleasure in the human interactions of dance; and witty, stylish staging. Tuplet, for just six dancers, is the most intimate of the three works, riffing off the split-second precision of contemporary ballet dancers at the top of their game. Episode 31 is larger in scale, a torrent of youthful vigour harnessing the energy of New York City. Cacti (2010) brings it all together, combining hilarious insights into the dancers’ innermost thoughts with a mesmerising musicality. Once again, the RNZB will be joined by the New Zealand String Quartet onstage for all performances.