Klevis Elmazaj, is a choreographer, filmmaker and performer living in Amsterdam. Born in Albania (Berat), where he grew up until the age of 6, his family emigrated to Italy because of the troubled post-communist transition of the 90’s. There, he started his first steps as a ballet dancer, and have continued studying dance until graduating from Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary Dance in London, UK. Currently Klevis works as a choreographer for various dance companies, theater, opera productions around Europe like ‘Forza del Destino’ Royal Opera House, UK 2019, ‘Rusalka’ Teatro Real, Spain 2020, ‘Christmas Eve’ Frankfurt Opera, Germany 2021, ‘Salome’ Helsinki Opera, Finland 2022.
His choreographic passion developed through life, from the strong need to communicate and share visions and experiences with the audience. From the believe that dance should be inspiring people’s lives and send a message to the audience watching, Klevis approaches his creations from a very human point of view: emotions, feelings, experiences, senses and cultural influences are vital for the giving life to movements that will shape the dance. He then started creating short works that have acclaimed awards at prestigious international choreographic competitions like ‘Until The Sand’ 2nd Prize, Burgos/NewYork International Choreographic Competition 2016, ‘Where The Sun Rises’ Finalist, Youth America Grand Prix 2018, ‘The Silent Way’ 1st Prize, Danza en el Camino De Santiago 2019. In March 2021 Klevis founded ImagineWonders as an Amsterdam based production house, that focuses on creating original storytelling shows.
Opera productions choreographed.
Tchaikovsky 'PIQUE DAME' - Bayerische Staatsoper 2024
Find out the secret, crack the code, have the key: What drives us to succumb to the pull of the unknown, to forget what we originally felt and who we are? With The Queen of Spades in 1834, Alexander Pushkin presented a Russian version of the gothic novel. His protagonist Hermann stares fixedly at the window behind which Lisa is sitting.
Wagner 'LOHENGRIN' - Dutch National Opera 2023
Elsa finds herself at the center of a political conflict and accused of the murder of her brother, the heir to the throne. In desperation she calls upon a knight who appeared to her in her dreams. Suddenly her dream image manifests itself and comes to her rescue. Love between the two blossoms, but the stranger imposes a special condition: Elsa is not allowed to ask what his name is. Can man tolerate such a great mystery?
Tchaikovsky 'EUGEN ONEGIN' - Theater Lübeck 2023
Four young people are looking for happiness and can’t find it. Pyotr Tchaikovsky, who took his story from Alexandr Pushkin’s autobiographical verse novel of the same name, traces the moments in which their paths cross in the lyrical scenes of his opera, tells of their infatuation and love, of their injuries and their despair. The plot develops from the small tragedy of rejection with tragic force.
Musikalische Leitung S. Vladar Inszenierung J. Burbach Bühne A. Hasun Kostüme B. John Choreografie K. Elmazaj Chor J.-M. Krüge
Richard Strauss 'SALOME' - Helsinki Oppera 2022
Herod is keeping the prophet Jochanaan imprisoned. When Herodias’s daughter Salome hears Jochanaan preach about the Son of Man, her curiosity is piqued and she is overcome by a strange emotion. Not long after, she wants Jochanaan brought to her.
Exploiting Narraboth’s infatuation, Salome gets to meet Jochanaan. She is immediately charmed and her curiosity soon turns into lust. Salome eventually wants to kiss Jochanaan, but the prophet rejects her advances.
Antonín Dvořák 'RUSALKA' - Teatro Real, Madrid 2020
The libretto of the most well known opera by Dvořak, which premiered in Prague in 1901, is inspired by the Czech version of the Central European folktale, one we also know as Undine (1811) by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué or The Little Mermaid (1837) by Hans Christian Andersen.
From director Christof Loy, Conductor Ivor Bolton, Choreographer Klevis Elmazaj, Set Designer Johannes Leiacker, Costume Designer Ursula Renzenbrink, Light Designer Bernd Purkrabek.
Nikolaj Rimski-Korsakov 'CHRISTMAS EVE' - Oper Frankfurt 22/21
Christmas in Dikanka, a village in the Ukraine: villagers go from house to house singing songs to celebrate the birth of Christ, as they do every year, all except the blacksmith Wakula, who’s down in the dumps because his love for the beautiful farmer’s daughter Oksana is not returned. She says she will only marry him if he brings her the Tsarina’s golden shoes. Desperate, he turns to the devil for help, who flies off to the capital city with him. The Tsarina gives Wakula her loveliest pair of shoes, so nothing now stands in the way of his marrying Oksana, who regrets being so ornery.
Richard Strauss 'Die Fledermaus' - Bayerische Staatsoper 2023 - Assistant Choreographer
Barrie Kosky gives the “operetta of all operettas” a new look and devotes herself to its morbid side. The setting is Vienna, city of the golden operetta era, where Die Fledermaus at the Theater an der Wien was premiered in 1874. The bat’s revenge becomes a nightmare, and not just for Gabriel von Eisenstein. A society, an entire city, is dancing towards the abyss.
Giuseppe Verdi 'La Forza' - Royal Opera House 2023 - Revival Choreographer
Fate strikes mercilessly hard in La forza del destino. A family conflict with a fatal ending arises against the backdrop of war. The tragic heroine of La forza del destino already faces an impossible feat in the first act: the choice between her true love Don Alvaro and the memory of her father, who was accidentally killed by Alvaro. Watch the trailer including interviews with director Christof Loy and Eva-Maria Westbroek, who sings the role of Leonora.
A selection of the latest dance works.
‘A group of astronauts pushes beyond the known boundaries of space, only to crash-land on the surface of an unknown hostile planet. On the verge of becoming a multi planetary species, human beings must choose between preserving their identity on earth or push beyond, in the search of a-new-man.’ Original work created for Moveo Dance Company in 2022
'Until The Sand'
2nd Place Award at Burgos/NewYork International Choreographic Competition 2016
‘In the shoes of an immigrant man just arriving at a foreign shore. He meets a local guy and soon scared, starts to narrate his incredible journey from his homeland, to this new country hoping to be welcomed and helped. Soon realizing not to be easy for other to understand all he has been through.’
‘A soldier goes to war in the middle east. A story of two human being, whose past and culture are different. The two face each others emotions, through a dance created by the dancers personal life experience and messages. All feelings came out in this journey where they learned how to accept one another. Dialogues and silences are vital part in building relationships; we listen and we speak.’
Shorts & Full dance films
A journey through memories and future. A project brought to life during the pandemic, filming in the wintery landscapes of The Netherlands, that wants to portray an imaginary character walking back his footsteps, recalling memories of what has happened, hoping to find answers for its future.
‘(UN)COMMON GROUNDS follows four individuals in their attempt to relive fleeting moments from a past life, a life that once was and can no longer be. One inflection point after another, a new reality has settled while memories still lurk in the empty corridors. Entangled and once again disentangled, these individuals lose grip of what initially brought them together, unable to find a common ground from which to comprehend this new reality. Reveries of the past animate worn-down walls and crumbling foundations as the four dancers slowly descend further and further into a rabbit hole.’
FALL ON ME
The summer of 2020, The Dutch Tenors recorded the videoclip with the amazing dancers Christine Ceconello (Brazil) and Edgar Sagarra (Cuba). Choreographed by Klevis Elmazaj (Albania) they collaborated in the videoclip that was recorded in Koekbouw Veghel in The Netherlands. On a beautifull song of one of their favourite artists: Andrea Bocelli. This is ‘Fall On Me’.