Foniadakis / Ekman

Équilibre / Cacti

3, 4, 5, 6 May 2018

Greek National Opera - Stavros Niarchos Hall
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Starts at 20.00

Music Philip Glass, Koyaanisqatsi 
(Koyaanisqatsi, Vessels, Cloudscape, Prophecies by Philip Glass, 
copyright 1983, Dunvagen Music Publishers INC. Used by Permission) – Julien Tarride

Choreography Andonis Foniadakis
Scenography-costumes: Sakis Birbilis
Costumes Tassos Sofroniou

Choreography Alexander Ekman
Music Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert 
Sets Alexander Ekman – Tom Visser
Alexander Ekman
Lighting Tom Visser
Spenser Theberge

With the Greek National Opera Principal dancers, Soloists, Demi-Soloists and Corps de Ballet.

The music of the pieces

Philip Glass, Koyaanisqatsi
Julien Tarride

Joseph Haydn, Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlosers am Kreuze,
Sonata V (adagio): Sitio

Ludwig van Beethoven, String Quartet no. 9, in C major, op. 59, no. 3
Collectively put together, improvised and composed by Tonta Schmidt
von Altenstadt, David Marks, Saskia Viersen, Artur Trajko and Jan
Koch / musical coordinator

Symphony in D Minor, “Death and the Maiden” IV Presto
arranged and orchestrated by Andy Stein
from Franz Schubert's String Quartet D. 810

Music ensemble: Dionysios Vervitsiotis & Michalis Vrettas (violin), Jannis Athanasopoulos (viola), Alexandros Kasartzis (cello).

Ticket prices: €15, 20, 25, 35, 40, 55 
Students, reduced: €10 
Limited visibility seats: €8

The Greek National Opera expresses its gratitude to GEA for its kind contribution with regard to the related rights of the music.


A choreography piece exploring the resolute discipline and steely will of classical dancers, the strictures of its form and its hermetic hierarchy; elements which make direct reference to classical dance’s courtly origins. Aided by the evocative, nostalgic, cathartic, almost prayer-like sounds of Philip Glass from his iconic work Koyaanisqatsi, Andonis Foniadakis invites the public on a journey into the unexplored heart of dance. 
Outstanding Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman, known for his rapid pace, witty humor and clever transformations, is collaborating with the GNO’s Corps De Ballet for the first time with his popular piece Cacti. “The whip-smart timing of this piece as it juggles these incongruous elements is pure pleasure” says the Guardian in its review, while the Telegraph praised Ekman’s ability to “create strong images, make big ensembles and convincingly give absurd flashes of wit a place”.
In Cacti, Alexander Ekman turns his gaze on the scene that birthed him: modern dance itself. The performance endeavors to take a critical stance to and hilariously deconstruct the great excesses of the art of dance.
Sixteen dancers stand trapped in oversized Scrabble tiles. As the string quartet plays and texts are read out, the dancers run, fall, writhe and try to escape their invisible prisons. Cacti has been staged already in Holland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the USA, Brazil, Canada, etc.
It is no exaggeration to say that Ekman has collaborated with some of the most important dance troupes around the world, such as the Vienna Ballet, the Netherlands Dance Theatre, the Swedish Royal Ballet, the Ballets de Monte Carlo, the Sydney Dance Group, Dresden Ballet and Boston Ballet, and this December will present his latest work at the Paris Opera’s Palais Garnier.