40 M UNDER (dance film)

The dance film 40 M UNDER is Alexander Ekman's first lengthy film project. The film, which was recorded in the summer of 2009 in the former reactor hall at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, focuses on a few people who carry out a type of installation underground.

"What makes film so interesting for me is the opportunity to play with perspective, tempo and images in a way that the stage does not permit. Film also offers a proximity that makes it possible to reinforce and showcase details. The strong personalities of the Cullberg Ballet dancers become even more distinct on film than on stage," says Alexander Ekman.

Choreography and production: Alexander Ekman and Martin Steinberg
Costumes: Nina Stenmark and Malin Eriksson
Music: Matmos, among others.

Length 19 minutes

Première at House of Dance, Stockholm, March 5, 2010.

40 M UNDER is also available for purchase on iTunes

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Alexander EkmanAlexander Ekman
Alexander Ekman was born in Stockholm in 1984. He trained at the Operans Balettelevskola 1994-2001. From 2001-2002 he danced at the Royal Opera House in Stockholm. He then joined Netherlands Dans Theater II 2002-2005. During his dance career he worked with choreographers such as Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen, Nacho Duato, Johan Inger and Mats Ek.


Between 2005-2006 Alexander joined Cullberg Ballet where he had his first breakthrough receiving a prize at the international choreographic competition in Hannover for his piece The Swingle Sisters, for which he also claimed the critics’ prize. In the same year he was chosen as one of the dancers to create a work; Unknown art? for Cullberg Växtverk  project, which was performed in Stockholm and Malmö in April 2006. During autumn of the same year Alexander created choreography, set and music to Flock Work for NDT II, which premiered in November 2006 and became his international breakthrough as a choreographer.

Since then Alexander has gone on to create works for Netherlands Dans Theater I, Ballet de L’Opéra du Rhin, France, Bern Ballet and Ballet Junior de Genève, Switzerland, IT-Dansa in Spain, the Iceland Dance Company, as well as for the Göteborg Ballet. Alexander also created choreography for Cullberg Ballet’s 40th anniversary, as well as the dance installations presented at the Moderna Museet in 2008 and at the Bildmuseet in Umeå last autumn. 2009, Alexander created the video projections for Mats Ek’s production of Roland Schimmelpfennings Hållplats at Stockholm City Theater. In March 2010, Alexander’s first dance film, 40 M UNDER premiered in collaboration with Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm. During spring and summer 2010 he will create a new work; La La Land, for the Göteborg Ballet, as well as a new piece for Cedar Lake Dance Company in New York. The work Cacti, which Ekman created for NDT II during winter 2010 was given as a gift to the Oslo Opera from Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands during a state visit. Alexander Ekman is resident choreographer for NDT II 2011-2013.

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