Alexander Ekman talks Duchamp, cacti and why the inner ballerina is desperate to shake it out.
A rising star of contemporary dance, Alexander Eckman makes his Australian debut for Sydney Dance Company with his internationally acclaimed Cacti– a work that pokes gentle fun at the pretentions of dance. He talked to Limelight about the piece, his sense of humour and working with Jirí Kylian at Netherlands Dance Theatre.
I tried to find the most random and unexpected object I could think of that the dancers would suddenly bring on stage. I think there is so much you could also analyse and interpret from a cactus which makes it a very “artsy” prop to bring on stage. It sort of also reflects Marcel Duchamp’s famous bottle holder idea. When you bring a random ordinary object on stage and present it we then brand it as “art”.
How does the music – all “core classical” from Schubert to Mahler – interact with the dancers?
The musicians give the dancers a short fragment from the Presto from Schubert’s Death and the Maiden. The dancers then answer in a rhythmical phrase with breaths, slaps, snaps – basically any sound they can create with...