“Smoke” by Mats Ek, IMZ Dance Screen Award 1996, with Niklas Ek & Sylvie Guillem
In “Smoke” Mats Ek shows the relationship between a man and a woman (Niklas Ek and Sylvie Guillem). Each of them has his/her own life as expressed in their respective solos. They meet and mingle tenderly and violently in two pas de deux. The smoke which comes from their clothes and mouths expresses their communication. This ballet was conceived for the camera at Sylvie Guillem’s request and is included in her film “Evidentia“.
RD Studio Productions
France 1995, 20 mins.
Director: Mats Ek
Choreography: Mats Ek
Performed by Sylvie Guillem and Niklas Ek
Music by Arvo Pärt
IMZ Dance Screen Award 1996 Jury Citation
Brilliantly performed by Niklas Ek and Sylvie Guillem “Smoke” stands out for its overall excellence and deserves special note for two facts: first, it was the television directing debut of choreographer Mats Ek and second, this duet, commissioned especially for television has come off the screen and into the live stage repertory. Entitled “Solo for Two” the dance was performed this year in Paris, making its creation and continuation the reverse of the traditional relationship between live performance and television.
Mats Ek is one of Europe’s most creative and influential dance-makers, acclaimed for the theatricality and immediacy of his work. He became artistic director of the Cullberg Ballet in 1985. He produced more revisionist versions of classics, including Swan Lake (1987) and Carmen (1992). As well, he created his own works, which typically involve the use of parallel narratives and humour. In 1993, Ek resigned his post, but continued to create new works that are performed worldwide. Ek has created for the Hamburg Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, Paris Opera and Les Grands Ballet Canadien de Montréal. His ballets have been adapted for television.