After more than twenty years, it seems that we have entered a new phase in the field of contemporary dance. I am not trying to define the latest heroic moment in dance: these days it is only too obvious that a history that follows a lineal and positive timeline does not reflect reality. This new phenomenon (that shares time and space with other phenomena of very different natures) has to do with the brilliant maturity reached by some of the choreographers that “reigned” in Europe during the 1980s.
While some of these “authorities” have ended up stereotyping their work into simple trademarks, others have kept on exploring dance and adding new dimensions to their artistic practice. Mats Ek should be included in this second group.
Ek revealed, during the eighties and early nineties, the deep wisdom concealed in traditional story ballets. Revisiting “Giselle” (1982), “Swan Lake“(1987), “Sleeping Beauty” (1996) became the perfect strategy for recovering the possibility of narration. This was not only a matter of commenting ironically on history but also a struggle to liberate dance from abstract modernism in order to allow it to talk about life. This idea focused his work for almost ...