Episode 31 - Cacti - Tuplet

Three by Ekman

17 May - 15 June 2017

RNZB dancers Madeleine Graham and Felipe Domingos in Cacti during the 2017 Three By Ekman tour. Photographer Stephen A'Court

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.

What are they saying

cheeky effervescence, an irrepressible energy and a beguiling wit ...

Bernadette Rae

The New Zealand Herald, Cacti review quote from 2016

delicious...it fizzes with fun and the dancers seem to be having a ball...

Jan Bolwell

DANZ, Cacti review quote from 2016

This zany parody of pretension takes the mickey out of all culture vultures, especially (gulp) critics. The music ... was mellifluously played live on stage by the brilliant New Zealand String Quartet - what a bonus!

Ann Hunt

Dominion Post, Cacti review quote from 2016


Choreography, video & set design

Alexander Ekman

Staged by

Ana Maria Lucaciu

Répétiteur, Episode 31

Fernando Troya

Cacti Lighting, co-set design & technical supervision

Tom Visser

Cacti music

Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert

Live Cacti music performed by

New Zealand String Quartet

Cacti costume design

Alexander Ekman

Tuplet costume design

Nancy Haeyung Bae

Tuplet lighting design

Amith Chandrashaker

Tuplet music

Mikael Karlsson, Victor Feldman, Bart Howard

Episode 31 costume design

Luke Simcock

Episode 31 lighting design

Nicole Pearce

Episode 31 music

Mikael Karlsson, Erik Satie, Ane Brun







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