Ekleido on taking SPLICE to Glastonbury Festival 2024

Photo: Paul Hampartsoumian

Together, Hannah Ekholm and Faye Stoeser are the choreographic duo Ekleido. They strive to create work that is innovative and current, placing value in collaboration and creating empowering working environments for artists.

They make their Glastonbury Festival debut this week in the Theatre & Circus fields, marking the first time their work has been performed outdoors. They’ll be performing SPLICE, “an exploration of connection and architecture between two bodies as they configure themselves between restriction and possibility, solving a physical puzzle,” on The Pavement stage across the weekend.

Ahead of festival gates opening, we caught up with Hannah and Faye to find out more about their work and what it’s like to be heading to Worthy Farm.

Hannah Ekholm and Faye Stoeser Q&A

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into live performance? 

Ekleido is a choreographic duo made up of Hannah Ekholm and Faye Stoeser choreographing for live performance and film. We have both individually had extensive dance careers within the contemporary dance scene, commercial industry and underground club scenes, performing for companies and artists such as Rambert, Years & Years, Kylie Minogue, Sam Smith, Calvin Harris, Alexander Whitley Dance Company, Natalia Osipova.

Our choreography takes influences from both our dance backgrounds combining contemporary dance with underground battle styles including New Way Voguing, bone-breaking and threading to the sounds of electronic music, currently collaborating with world-renowned electronic musician Floating Points. 

Our first creation together was in 2018 which was heavily influenced by New Way Vogue as well as collaborating with a percussionist, Azizi Cole. At the time we weren’t focused on pursuing choreography careers so we went separate ways for a while, but often crossed paths with each other on commercial gigs or battling New Way Vogue in The Ballroom Scene.  

5 years after our first creation, after having worked as professional dancers for almost 10 years, we both individually started pursuing choreography careers.

In early 2023, Stanley Arts got in contact with us asking if we had a piece of choreography to share, and serendipitously we were both available so we jumped at the opportunity and made our piece SPLICE in just 3 days. We got a lot of positive feedback following the performance and even booked 3 more shows so decided to keep developing the piece further. Having similar dance backgrounds, and just a general synergy, working together was the smoothest collaboration ever so we decided to keep going as a duo and formed ‘Ekleido’.

Within a year we have toured to some of the UK’s top theatres including Sadler’s Wells, as well as receiving funding from Arts Council England, support from multiple partners, and have a new show on the way which will premiere in Autumn!  

What’s it like to be performing at this year’s Glastonbury Festival? 

We are both really excited to be part of the lineup this year for what we think is the best festival! It is also really special to be bringing dance to Worthy Farm. It will be the first time our work is being performed outside, hopefully introducing new audiences to what we do. The Circus and Theatre area is always one of our favourite parts to hang out and be blown away by the incredible variety of acts, so we are really looking forward to joining that area specifically.  

What can you tell us about your plans for the show? 

We are continuing to tour the show to other festivals and theatres across the UK after Glastonbury and aiming to take it internationally next year. Over the summer we are also creating a new piece called ‘Rorschach’ and will be premiering this alongside our current show ‘Splice’ in a full evening of our work at The Place Theatre, London on 5th November 

How do you approach performing at a festival like this? 

This will be quite different from performing the show in a normal theatre setting as we will have to adapt to the space and keep audiences engaged, but our aim has always been to take this show beyond conventional theatre spaces so we are super excited to be doing it at Glastonbury! Using electronic music composed by Floating Points usually gets crowds interested and then the synchronised movement keeps them engaged. We recently performed the show at Ministry of Sound and it was very well received. It’s fun with the challenges of new spaces that are not specifically set up for dance. 

Will you be checking out any other acts across the weekend? 

Most definitely! We can’t wait to see our friends Daphni, Peggy Gou and Marcus du Sautoy as well as the Icon Shania Twain! Ekleido created and performed the on-screen choreography for James Blake’s new show so will have to go check his set out too. One of the things that makes Glastonbury so special is that wherever you go there are always great things happening and it is always really exciting when you just walk around and stumble across a new artist.  

Ekleido – SPLICE is on The Pavement at Glastonbury Festival 2024, taking place from 26 to 30 June