Birgit Cullberg

Birgit Ragnhild Cullberg (3 August 1908 – 8 September 1999) was a Swedish choreographer.[1] Her father Carl Cullberg was a bank director and her mother was Elna Westerström. Cullberg was born in Nyköping and was married from 1942 to 1949 to actor Anders Ek. She was the mother of Niklas Ek in 1943, and twins Mats Ek, and Malin Ek in 1945.[2]

Birgit Cullberg in 1943
Portrait of Birgit Cullberg by Willy Gordon, outside the Theatre in Nyköping, Sweden

Cullberg studied ballet under Kurt Jooss-Leeder and Lilian Karina and at The Royal Ballet, London (1952–1957).[1] In 1960, Cullberg was appointed director and choreographer at the Stockholm City Theatre. Some of her choreographies were premiered at the Royal Opera in Stockholm.

Cullberg gained international recognition by founding the Cullberg Ballet in the 1960s.[2] On her retirement in 1985, her son Mats Ek took over the ballet company. The Swedish Arts Grants Committee instituted the Cullberg scholarship in her honour, and she was awarded an honorary professorship at Stockholm University, where she had studied when she was young. In 1977 she was awarded the Litteris et Artibus and in 1983 the Illis quorum.[3][4] She also received the French honour Commandeur des Arts et Lettres and the Italian honour Cavaliere Ufficiale al Merito della Repubblica Italiana.

Selected choreographyEdit

  • Vägen till Klockrike
  • Miss Julie
  • The Moon Reindeer
  • The Lady from the Sea


  1. ^ a b Arent, Hans-Christian (8 September 2021), "Birgit Ragnhild Cullberg", Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian Bokmål), retrieved 19 May 2022
  2. ^ a b Malmström Olsson, Cecilia. "Birgit Ragnhild Cullberg". Svenskt kvinnobiografiskt lexikon. Translated by Alexia Grosjean. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  3. ^ "Birgit Cullberg". (in Swedish). Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  4. ^ "Regeringens belöningsmedaljer och regeringens utmärkelse: Professors namn". Regeringskansliet (in Swedish). January 2006. Archived from the original on 2 November 2021. Retrieved 18 May 2022.

Further readingEdit

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