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ballet A Swan Lake by Alexander Ekman, music by Mikael Karlsson The Norwegian National Ballet

The Norwegian National Ballet

A Swan Lake by Alexander Ekman, music by Mikael Karlsson The Norwegian National Ballet


"Why let reality get in the way of a good story?" exclaims one of the characters of this artwork that lies somewhere between stage play and ballet—a fitting question with which to approach A Swan Lake by Alexander Ekman.

In the first act, reworked excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s beloved score mix with scathing, absurd, and witty dialogues to depict the genesis and realization of a ballet (Swan Lake). With bold irreverence and touches of parody, Ekman's brilliant, self-reflective work takes a tongue-in-cheek look at today’s ballet scene.

In the second act, the awe-inspiring dancers of the Norwegian National Ballet perfectly embody all the physicality and energy of this ballet-within-a-ballet. Their artful athleticism is complemented both by Mikael Karlsson’s effective music—alternating between and occasionally mixing humor and darkness—and by a unique scenic feat: an actual onstage lake of 5,000 liters of water that serves as both backdrop and musical instrument. Actors of great magnetism, a stunning soprano, and the Norwegian National Opera Orchestra add their talents to the most surreal Swan Lake you will ever see!


  • Alexander Ekman | Choreographer, Set designer, Voice-over, Sound Designer
  • Henrik Vibskov | Costumes
  • Tom Visser | Lighting designer
  • Mikael Karlsson | Voice-over, Sound Designer
  • Jan Gunnar Røise | The Artist
  • Fridtjov Såheim | The Producer
  • Elisabeth Teige | The Diva
  • Camilla Spidsøe Cohen | White Swan
  • Melissa Hough | Black Swan
  • Philip Currell | Siegfried
  • The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet
  • The Norwegian National Opera Orchestra
  • Per Kristian Skalstad | Conductor


  • Mikael Karlsson / Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, A Swan Lake
    • Overture
    • I: The People
    • I: The Story
    • I: The Ornithologist
    • I: The Swans
    • II: Flocking
    • II: Duet
    • II: Beach Party Pt 1
    • II: Beach Party Pt 2
    • II: Finale
    • III. 427 years later


  • Directed by:
    • Jeff Tudor
  • Venue: Oslo Opera House (Oslo, Norway)
  • Production date: 2014
  • Duration: 1 h 37 min
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