Mats Ek

"Grass is a symbol of our natural origin, like an echo of a person's actions", says Mats Ek of his ballet Grass. Even though a man and a woman depict a kind of life cycle in the ballet, Mats Ek refuses to refer to it as an epic ballet. It is not a "philosophical" ballet either. He describes it rather as different chords from life.

  • World premiere by: Cullberg Ballet at Leverkusen (Germany), April 25th 1988
  • Premiere by Compañía Nacional de Danza: at Teatro de Madrid, Madrid (Spain), April 14th 1994

Mats Ek got the idea for the ballet after he had created a solo for his brother Niklas for Swedish television. It became a necessity to continue it. A painting by Francis Bacon showing entwined bodies in high grass, provided him with the basis for the new ballet. Grass is fragile but strong. Grass cannot protect itself from being mowed down by someone, but a seed of grass growing in a crevice will break the stone with its roots.

The level of the grass becomes the image of the zone where living people arrive at live attitudes, based on experience. As opposed to tactics and bribes.

In Mats Ek’s ballet Grass, grass is a symbol for nature, the nature we originate from and return to. ” Nature is an echo of the chords in a person’s life”, says Mats Ek. Grass reflects three different stages in a person’s life, seen from a man’s point of view: childhood, romance and old age. The man gets older, the complications more complex. Piano music by Sergey Rachmaninov creates the musical background, and the choreographer’s cousin, Karin Ek, who previously supplied the scenography and costumes for Mats Ek’s ballet Down North, has created the scenography.


  • Choreography:
    Mats Ek
  • Music:
    Sergei Rachmáninov (1873-1943)
  • Set Design :
    Karin Ek
  • Lighting Design:
    Göran Westrup
  • Choreographer Assistant:
    Anna Diehl
  • Set made by:
    Daniel Moreno
  • Costumes made by:
    CND wardrobe
  • Courtain:
    Enrique López Corella
  • Running time:
    21 minutes
  • Premiere cast CND:
    Cati Arteaga, Tony Fabre