Cullberg Ballet, Sweden, 2010
Cullberg BalletCullberg Ballet
Tour Dates
  • 12 May - 28 May, 2010

Tour Dates: 13 May - 27 May, 2010

“A declaration of love to movement...It is beautiful. Very beautiful.”
– Dagens Nyheter, October 2009

Alexander Ekman - 40m Under
Johan Inger - Negro con flores
Mats Ek - She was black
History of the Cullberg Ballet
Media Reviews

Cullberg Ballet is in its fifth decade as a leading company on the front line of modern dance.

The ensemble has performed in more than forty countries and is an important cultural ambassador for Sweden. Cullberg Ballet's extensive international tours give foreign audiences a taste of Swedish culture at its best.

Over the past ten years Cullberg Ballet has performed as many times abroad as in Sweden, scoring popular successes in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. In Sweden, the company's widespread performances bring the best of Swedish dance to the national audiences.

Cullberg Ballet's dancers are the company's greatest assets. The composition of the company's dancers has been international from the start and many nationalities are represented also in today's Cullberg Ballet. The dancers' technical proficiency and strong stage personalities have always been Cullberg Ballet's main characteristics. Cullberg Ballet belongs to Riksteatern, Sweden's National Touring Theatre.

China Tour 2010

In the spring of 2010, Cullberg Ballet will present a programme with works by three generations of choreographers, all three of whom have a personal relationship with the company in various ways, Alexander Ekman, Johan Inger and Mats Ek.

Alexander Ekman40M Under

Johan IngerNegro con flores

Mats Ek She was black


Alexander Ekman

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Alexander Ekman was trained at the Royal Swedish Ballet School. He later joined the Royal Swedish Ballet. From August 2002 until mid 2005 he was a remarkable dancer with Nederlands Dans Theater II before he joined the Cullberg Ballet in Sweden. 
Ekman created his first choreographies in Stockholm and later for the Nederlands Dans Theater Choreography Workshop 2004 and 2005. His pieces are characterised by innovative ideas and humorous solutions.

Ekman was mentioned in 2006 in the magazine Ballettanz as a rising young choreographer to ‘keep an eye on’. He received a prize for The Swingle Sisters at the international competition for choreographers in Hannover in 2006, as well as the prize of the critics for the work. Most recently, Alexander Ekman created the highly acclaimed video projections for Mats Ek’s production of Roland Schimmelpfenning’s Hållplats at Stockholm City Theater. In the autumn of 2010, Alexander Ekman will create his first full evening programme for Cullberg Ballet. 


Johan Inger


Johan Inger was born in Stockholm and educated at the Royal Swedish Ballet School and at the National Ballet School in Canada. In 1985 Johan Inger joined the Royal Swedish Ballet, where he, in 1989 became a soloist. In 1990 he joined the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) in Holland.

Johan Inger's official breakthrough as a choreographer came with Mellantid (Swedish for In Between Time), his first work for NDT II, as part of the 1995 Holland Dance Festival. This work was crowned with the 1996 Philip Morris Finest Selection Award in the category of Contemporary Dance. Mellantid has been followed by several creations for NDT I, NDT II and NDT III. It was nominated for the British Laurence Olivier Award as 'Best New Dance Production' in 2001.

In October 2001 he received the Lucas Hoving Production Award for his works Dream Play and Walking Mad. In 2005 Walking Mad and Cullberg Ballet received Danza & Danza's award for best performance in 2004. In 2006 Johan Inger received the Birgit Cullberg scholarship.

Since 2003, when Johan Inger took over the artistic management of Cullberg Ballet, he continuously creates works for the company and in 2008, he left the position to continue as a freelance choreographer.


Mats Ek

Born in Malmö, Sweden, Mats Ek attended Marieborg College in Sweden and studied Theatre.  He received his ballet training from Donya Feuer in Stockholm from 1962-65 and also from various teachers since 1973.  He joined the Cullberg Ballet Company in 1973 as a dancer and later to become a choreographer in 1976.

He has for thirty years been a highly esteemed choreographer throughout the world. He studied dance and theatre and directed theatre at the Marionette Theatre, the Stockholm City Theatre and the Royal Dramatic Theatre.

In some of Ek's former choreographies, traditions of Kurt Jooss and of his mother, Birgit Cullberg may be apparent. He uses classical as well as modern dance techniques with social engagement of psychological dilemmas combined with subtle humour as the basis of his choreographies.

After leaving the Cullberg Ballet, Mats Ek became guest choreographer with major international dance companies. He created Sleeping Beauty for the Hamburg Ballet (1996), A Sort Of for the Nederlands Dans Theater (1997), and Apartment for the Paris Opera (2000). Several of Mats Ek's ballets have been adapted for television whilst two of them received Emmy awards.


History of the Cullberg Ballet

Since 1950, when Miss Julie had its première, Birgit Cullberg has exerted strong influence over contemporary Swedish and foreign ballet. Over the years, Miss Julie has become one of the world's most widely danced works. During the 1960s, with the personal, passionate and often humorous style, Birgit Cullberg made an extensive career for herself outside Sweden. In 1967 she founded the present Cullberg Ballet under the head organisation Riksteatern, with eight handpicked international dancers, of who three were Swedes.

In the 1970s Mats Ek entered the dance world and created, for the Cullberg Ballet, such powerful and socially committed works as Soweto and Bernarda. In the following decade, he concentrated on pioneering new versions of the old classics Giselle and Swan Lake. During the 1990s, Mats Ek's creations have included the Emmy awarded Carmen for the Cullberg Ballet. Birgit Cullberg (1967-85) and Mats Ek (1982-93) were the artistic directors of the Cullberg Ballet for a total of 26 years. With their outstanding works, they have set their personal stamp on the company, making it one of the world's foremost ensembles. When Mats Ek stepped down as artistic director of the Cullberg Ballet in 1993, Carolyn Carlson, who created the full-evening performance Sub Rosa for the ensemble, took over the position for a two-year period.

From 1995 to July 2003 the artistic management was shared between Lena Wennergren-Juras and Margareta Lidström.

Lena Wennergren-Juras has been part of the Cullberg Ballet since its foundation in 1967. She has collaborated closely with Birgit Cullberg, who created leading roles especially for her. When Lena retired as a dancer her collaboration with Mats Ek developed and she came to work full time as his rehearsal assistant. She started staging Ek's choreographies, not only for the Cullberg Ballet, but also for other companies in Sweden as well as abroad.

Margareta Lidström was engaged at the Royal Swedish Ballet in 1973 and in 1978 she became a soloist. She was appointed première dancer in 1987. Margareta joined the Cullberg Ballet in 1992 as rehearsal assistant for among others Carolyn Carlson, Mats Ek and Ohad Naharin.

On July 1, 2003, the Swedish choreographer Johan Inger took over the artistic management of the Cullberg Ballet. Johan Inger was born in Stockholm and educated at the Royal Swedish Ballet School and at the National Ballet School in Canada. In 1985 he started as a dancer at the Royal Swedish Ballet, where he in 1989 became a soloist. In 1990 he became a member of the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) in Holland.

Johan Inger's official breakthrough as a choreographer came in the autumn 1995 with a ballet for NDT2, for which he was awarded the Philip Morris′ Finest Selection. Since the breakthrough, Johan Inger regularly created new choreographies for NDT. For Walking Mad he received the Lucas Hoving award - the Dutch theatres' award for best production in 2001.




“...with expressive elasticity the lone individuals energetically writhe and hunt for new ways of breaking out of their isolation. Hungarian folk music forces them on, the persistent violin bites as the people do battle with all life’s twists and turns.”
- Göteborgs-Posten, November 2005

“...running and turned backs characterize Johan Inger’s Empty House, which has an elegant circular composition around free, quick studies for one, two and more. Inger identifies strong and rich images of life as something which carries on while distancing itself, turning its back on us...”
- Expressen, May 2006

“Johan Inger’s new works is a meaningful, exciting production that has changed the direction of the fantastic, skilful Cullberg Ballet...”
- Upsala Nya Tidning, November 2007

“A declaration of love to movement...It is beautiful. Very beautiful.”
- Dagens Nyheter, October 2009

For booking inquiry please contact:

Mr. Ma Ran
Head of the Marketing Department
Tel. +86 10 5165 0798 ext. 18
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