Alexander Ekman turns the historic Palais Garnier into a vast playground where every object is a plaything. Playing makes us happy, and Ekman believes we should always keep that childlike urge to jump into action and let our imaginations run free. Play combines dance, theatre, music and song into a high-energy spectacle that explores play through the various stages of life.
The dancers even dive into the orchestra pit filled with 40,000 plastic balls and transform into forest creatures that frolic with ropes and large white boxes. Festive and mischievous, the work draws viewers into a whirlwind of inventions while asking profound questions about the world. What happens to our games when we grow up? How do we rediscover that desire to play?
Harbourfront Centre presents Digidance with the intention of providing world-class dance performances to those who might still not be able to take part in the things they love out in the world.
This Digidance stream is an initiative of DanceHouse (Vancouver), Danse Danse (Montreal), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto) and the National Arts Centre (Ottawa).
About The Paris Opera Ballet
The Paris Opera Ballet is one of the world’s most prestigious and oldest classical dance companies. Its roots go back to the dances and practices of court life of Louis XIV. In 1669, the corps de ballet was integrated into the Royal Academy of Music. Today it is part of the Opéra national de Paris. With 154 dancers, they perform over 180 performances per season. The ballet dancers have primarily been trained in the Paris Opera Ballet School, considered one of the best in the world. The National Opera of Paris ballet recruits very few from outside, which maintains the unity of the French dance style. Notable dancers involved in the company include Serge Lifar, Rudolf Nureyev and Sylvie Guillem.
About Alexander Ekman – Choreographer
After a dance career with Royal Swedish Ballet, Cullberg Ballet, and NDT 2, Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman focused solely on choreography, often composing music and designing decor for his pieces. Ekman created several works for NDT 2, including Flockwork (2006), Cacti (2010, nominated for the VSCD Zwaan Award 2010, National Dance Award 2012 and an Olivier Award in 2013), Left Right Left Right (2012), Maybe Two (2013), FIT (2018) and Four Relations (2020), and, for NDT 1, Definitely Two (2013).
Ekman works worldwide with companies such as Cullberg Ballet, Compañia Nacional de Danza, Göteborg Ballet, Ballet de l’Opéra du Rhin and the Royal Swedish Ballet. In 2005, at the International Choreography Competition of Hannover, Ekman was awarded First Prize by the critics and won Second Prize with Swingle Sisters. In 2014, he created his version of Swan Lake, receiving enormous attention worldwide. Ekman used 6,000 litres of water to make a natural lake on stage. In 2015 he received the Swedish Medea Award for Inventor and Renewer and the German Theatre Award ‘Der Faust’ the following year.
Ekman is known for his fast-paced timing, witty humour and clever transitions. He aims to create work that the majority can relate to and connect with. He creates pieces that entertain and question the observer, seeking to surprise and transform the atmosphere in the audience.
OPÉRA NATIONAL DE PARIS
BEL AIR MEDIA
With the participation of francetélévisions
Choreography, Set & Costume Design: Alexander Ekman
Music composer: Mikael Karlsson
TV Director: Tommy Pascal
Lighting designer: Tom Visser
Videographer: T.M. Rives
Costumes: Xavier Ronze
Choreographer’s assistant: Ana Maria Lucaciu
Set design assistant: Claire Puyenchet
Strategic Adviser and Dramaturge: Carina Nildalen
Star Dancer: Stéphane Bullion
Principal Dancer: Muriel Zusperreguy
Principal Dancer: Vincent Chaillet
Corps de ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris:
Marion Barbeau, Aurélia Bellet, Alice Catonnet, Silvia Saint-Martin, Ida Viikinkoski, Juliette Hilaire, Laurène Levy, Charlotte Ranson, Jennifer Visocchi, Claire Gandolfi, Marion Gautier De Charnacé, Clémence Gross, Caroline Osmont, Sofia Rosolini, Chelsea Adomaitis, Margaux Gaudy-Talazac, Mouget Shanti.
Aurélien Houette, Allister Madin, Marc Moreau, Jérémy-Loup Quer, Daniel Stokes, Simon Valastro, Adrien Couvez, Yvon Demol, Alexandre Gasse, Antoine Kirscher, Mickaël Lafon, Hugo Vigliotti, Takeru Coste, Simon Le Borgne, Antonin Monié, Andréa Sarri.
Dance director: Aurélie Dupont
Dance administrator: Flavien Moglia
Ballet master associate to dance direction: Clotilde Vayer
Deputy ballet master: Béatrice Martel
Stage manager: Virginia Gris
Dance managers: Jessica Bel, Jean-Sébastien Couderc
Stage director: Nicolas Marty
Production general manager: Moira Delattre
Technical manager: Nicolas Minssen
Deputy technical manager: Edouard Gouhier
Production’s technical manager: Emmanuel Boulze
Director of costumes: Christine Neumeister
Chief of Audiovisual Department:
Deputy Chief to Audiovisual Department: Caroline Ludot
Production Managers: Josephine Medina, Marie Revel
Production Assistant: Thibaut Lécroart
Manager: Fabien Mignery
Dates & Times
12am – Streaming Starts
11:59pm – Streaming Ends
The last time to begin watching the performance will be at 11:59 PM on November 27.