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Efva Lilja is a Swedish artist and choreographer with a global reach. Her works include performances, visual art, film and writing, often described as innovative and controversial. Her choreographic sequences represent imagery meant to challenge our perception of reality. Some of her most celebrated works were produced for art institutions such as Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, The Stockholm Museum of Modern Art and The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, but she is also highly recognized for experimental site specifics and research-based works in galleries and at alternative venues. In the last few years, her focus is mainly on painting and writing choreography.

Some historical facts

After having worked as a dancer and choreographer in Sweden, Britain and the US, Efva Lilja founded E.L.D., an independent dance company based in Stockholm, in 1985. For twenty years, she was the choreographer and Artistic Director of E.L.D., producing and presenting works in more than 35 countries. In 2003 she was appointed Professor of Choreography and from 2006 to 2013 she was the Vice-Chancellor of DOCH, the University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm. In 2014 she was the expert advisor on artistic research at the Ministry of Education and Research in Sweden. From 2016 until May 2019 Efva Lilja was the Artistic Director of Dansehallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark’s national forum and venue for contemporary dance. Efva Lilja is an author of eleven books and a lecturer in great demand world-wide. She has been decorated and received a number of prizes and awards.

Since the late 1990s she has worked with artistic research and been an active force nationally and internationally, working to improve conditions for artists to undertake research in their artistic practices. She has been engaged in the boards of the ELIA, PEEK and the Norwegian Program for Artistic Research, the Chairperson of the Committee for Artistic Research in Denmark. From 2015 she is a member of the International Board at HZT/UDK in Berlin, to mention a few of her positions of trust. She presents, writes and lectures frequently on the topic of her art, of artistic research and of the role of art in the today society. Efva Lilja is also an activist in cultural politics, for instance on the EU level in Team Culture 2012, 2013-2014 she was invited by President José Manuel Barroso to be part of the project A New Narrative for Europe. 2016 she was appointed member of ECP, European Cultural Parliament and 2018 of Disorderly Woman, a network for female leaders in the arts.

Efva Lilja about her work