Marc plays Brahms with the ballet Rättika by Mats Ek at Dusseldorf

“With Mats Ek not only the narrative ballets but also the more abstract pieces are always little stories, which present life before our eyes as it really is – choreographic images with their Nordic starkness and archaic power located between dream and reality which continue to occupy us long after the evening in the theatre is over”, wrote Swedish dance and theatre critic Margareta Sörenson about Mats Ek who, along with John Neumeier and Jiří Kylián, is regarded as one of the leading choreographers of his generation. This is particularly true of his choreography “Rättika”, with which he once again entrusts the Ballett am Rhein with his work following “Aluminium” in 2010.

In “Rättika” – in English “radish” – originally created for the Royal Swedish Ballet, Mats Ek analyses with his own fatalistic humour and individual extravagance what belongs on stage in ballet and what does not: not only giant surreal radishes hover in the sky over the stage. He also rejects the hierarchy of classical ballet with a prima ballerina in the foreground and a decorative corps de ballet. The dancers move in ensembles in apparently everyday ways, they seem fragile, although their movements could hardly be more connected to the earth. Individuals escape from the group – a man in a suit of newspaper, a woman in a cow print dress – and pick up on the recurring theme which runs through all of Mats Ek’s ballets: his multi-facetted, masterfully compact narration of relationships between people who attempt to control life as much as they can.

Anne-Sophie Mutter’s recording of Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D major inspired Mats Ek to set the music in 2008. In Düsseldorf this great romantic concerto will be performed by Marc Bouchkov.

The premiere will be on March 13th. Apart from Rättika, two more ballets will be shown on this evening  which is entitled b.23 in the Opernhaus Dusseldorf: Symphonie g-Moll (Uraufführung) by Martin Schläpfer and … ADÓNDE VAS, SIGUIRIYA? by Brigitta Luisa Merki. More information: