In 2019, Deborah Hay restaged her iconic masterpiece The Match for the world famous Swedish dance company Cullberg. The restaged version of The Match had its premiere at Tanz im August in Berlin in 2019, as part of the festival’s Deborah Hay Retrospective. Now this fascinating, vibrant battle of wits can be seen for two nights in Helsinki.

Funny and odd, The Match is a quartet of many layers with four solos within it, solos that are spontaneously cast each night by who from the quartet steps up to perform. Each time a different solo is highlighted.

The Match contains meditation like exercises that invisibly bind the dancers to the material by establishing a mental, emotional, and bodily rigor that is visible in the performance. The work is built on the nature of experience, attention and perception.

As one major New York critic wrote after the premiere of the original version: “There is no musical accompaniment, so the focus is on the dancers: their mystifying travels and relationships, both spatial and personal, and the satisfying way Ms. Hay distributes them about the space ... in the strange and surprisingly handsome world of The Match.” – The New York Times, Jennifer Dunning

Deborah Hay choreographed The Match in 2004 and premiered the work at Danspace at St. Mark's Church in New York City in February 2004. lt was made for a selected group of highly experienced dancer and performers: Ros Warby from Melbourne, Australia, Chrysa Parkinson and Wally Cardona, New York City, and Mark Lorimer, London.

The restaged version features four dancers from Cullberg’s ensemble.

“My ongoing interest and excitement in working with Cullberg is its’ collective energy and openness to dancing together. Working within the company are an extraordinary number of individual dancers who exceed the threshold of bodily intelligence and movement virtuosity”, says Deborah Hay about her continuing work with the company.


Deborah Hay

Deborah Hay, born 1941 in Brooklyn, has achieved icon status among choreographers. Her work was formulated in 1960s experimental Judson Dance Theatre in New York, one of the most radical and influential post-modern art movements. Hay’s dances center on undoing the body’s reliance on learned behavior by enlarging the field from which a dancer can resource movement. She spent many years choreographing solo works for notable artists including Mikhail Baryshnikov. The choreographer William Forsythe helped influence her international career after seeing the premiere of her quartet The Match in 2005 at the Montpellier Danse.

In 2015, Deborah Hay created the work Figure a Sea directly for Cullberg with music by Laurie Anderson. Zodiak was one of the international co-producers of the piece. Figure a Sea has been highly acclaimed by audience and critics all over the world, toured in the US and all over Europe and been presented at prestigious festivals such as Montpellier Danse and the International Festival of Contemporary Dance of the Biennale di Venezia.

Deborah Hay has been awarded many grants and awards including the inaugural and groundbreaking Doris Duke Artist Award in 2012. In 2009 Deborah Hay was decreed the title of Doctor in Dance Arts honoris causa by Theatre Academy of the University of Arts (Helsinki), for her extensive and still continuing work in the frontline of Contemporary Dance, as a performer and a choreographer, as well as an art philosopher in practice. On May 5, 2015 France’s Minister of Culture and Communication awarded Hay the title of Chevallier de L’Ordre Des Arts et Des Lettres.


About Cullberg

Cullberg is the national and international repertoire contemporary dance company in Sweden, continuously co-creating to make cutting edge dance relevant for the many. Together with choreo graphers from all over the world, they are exploring ideas on how dance can be defined, produced and presented. Those explorations are the pillars of a company that is constantly in motion at the heart of the international arena.

From 2019–2021, Cullberg works exclusively with three associated artists: Alma Söderberg, Deborah Hay and Jefta van Dinther. The core of the company consists of 17 extraordinary individual dancers with a central role in the creations. The repertoire also includes works by Ian Kaler/Planningtorock, Eleanor Bauer / Jonatan Leandoer Håstad / Yung Lean and Margrét Sara Guðjónsdóttir. Cullberg is led by artistic director Gabriel Smeets and managing director Stina Dahlström. Cullberg is part of Riksteatern, The Swedish National Touring Theatre.


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Guest performance

Choreography Deborah Hay
Original lighting design Jennifer Tipton
Reworked lighting design Ivan Wahren
Costume Marita Tjärnström
Rehearsal director Lisa Drake
Dancers Adam Schütt, Agnieszka Sjökvist Dlugoszewska, Anand Bolder, Eleanor Campbell, Suelem de Oliveira da Silva, Unn Faleide (four dancers, interchanging cast)
Year of origin February 2004, Danspace, New York
Cullberg premiere 23.8.2019, Tanz im August (Berlin)
Production of the guest performance Zodiak, Cullberg, Stoa
Photos Urban Jörén

Post-performance discussion on Wed, April 1

Double-bill with
Deborah Hay – Vera Nevanlinna News

Duration of the double bill approximately 1 h 50 mins

Tickets 31,00/25,00/16,50 €

Zodiak's serial ticket is valid for the performances. Serial tickets from Tiketti.

Teatterisali (Turunlinnantie 1, Itäkeskus)