A Quiet Evening of Dance
6-10 FEB 2019
Forsythe has outdone himself. Four works by the great choreographer make for a pleasurable evening as the bodies of the outstanding dancers coordinate, fly, find themselves again—in other words, dance—on an empty stage with no sound accompanying them except their own bodies.
If anyone could be described as having “electrified” ballet, as having breathed new life into it and transformed it into a dynamic art-form ready to soar ever higher in the 21st century, that person would be William Forsythe.
He creates entire worlds using nothing but the human body, space and time, making dance an unprecedented experience for dancers and audience alike. This is very much the case with the four works—two revivals plus two new creations—which form the evening’s programme.
Dancers who have worked with him for many years narrate profoundly communicative stories with their bodies, their breathing the only sound accompanying them. Humour, sensitivity, provocation, response. Guiding them: their rhythm and incredible coordination. Like the hands on an invisible clock, they record time, render it visible, expand and contract it by changing space and, ultimately, by opening the secret channel through which we communicate with it.
Choreography: William Forsythe
And, for “Trio Second Edition”: William Forsythe in artistic collaboration with Jill Johnson, Brit Rodemund and Christopher Roman
Lighting: Tanja Rühl
Costumes: Dorothee Merg
Touring Production Manager: Philip Connolly
Production Electrician / Relighter: Will Frost
Head of Sound: Simon Lambert
Producer: Bia Oliveira
Producing & Touring Coordinator: Florent Trioux
The dancers are: Brigel Gjoka, Jill Johnson, Christopher Roman, Parvaneh Scharafali, Riley Watts, Rauf ‘RubberLegz’ Yasit, Ander Zabala
Performers/Understudies: Cyril Baldy, Brit Rodemund
A Sadler’s Wells London production.
Co-produced with: Théâtre de la Ville-Paris, le Théâtre du Châtelet and Festival d’Automne à Paris; Festival Montpellier Danse 2019; Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg; The Shed, New York; Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens; deSingel international arts campus (Antwerp)
Winner of the FEDORA - VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Prize for Ballet 2018.
William Forsythe has been choreographing for 45 years now. He has redefined ballet, transforming it from an art-form obsessed with repertoire into a dynamic, creative art free of all limitations. He is considered the most important choreographer of his generation.
The evening’s seven dancers are among Forsythe’s closest and most trusted associates. Ideal performers, they can provide us with a profound, insider perspective on the physical work of ballet and shed light on Forsythe's life's work.
The program is an international Onassis Stegi co-production.
“Catalogue” was created for two ex-Forsythe dancers, Jill Johnson and Christopher Roman, who created their own company, the DANCE ON ENSEMBLE. Forsythe describes the project as "complex, almost Baroque". In this updated version, it becomes a trio with the addition of the talented Brit Rodemund, who is collaborating with Forsythe for the first time.
“DUO2015” was originally created in 1996 for two dancers who would only use the front part of the stage. Today, it is danced by two male dancers.
The new version was premièred in 2015 and was subsequently included by Sylvie Guillem in her farewell programme. Guillem collaborated with Forsythe at a historic moment of his career on “In the middle somewhat elevated”, which he created in 1987 for the Paris Opera Ballet, then under the direction of Rudolf Nureyev. With its electrifying atmosphere and eccentric equilibria, its pulse and constantly shifting relationships, the choreography would change the course of dance forever and turn both the choreographer and his dancers (Sylvie Guillem, Laurent Hilaire, Isabelle Guérin and Manuel Legris) into instantly-recognizable stars.
William Forsythe grew up in New York and studied in Florida. He danced with the Joffrey Ballet and was invited to the Stuttgart Ballet in 1976 as a choreographer-in-residence. He would stay in Stuttgart for seven years, choreographing for other ensembles around the world, too, during his time there.
In 1984, he began his 20-year career as director of the Frankfurt Ballet, with which he created the choreographies that would establish him as one of the most significant choreographers in the history of dance: “Artifact” (1984), “Impressing the Czar” (1988), “Limb's Theorem” (1990), “Eidos: Telos” (1995), and “Decreation” (2003).
After the dissolution of the Frankfurt Ballet in 2004, he founded a new ensemble, the Forsythe Company, which he would go on to direct from 2005 to 2015. During this period, in which he choreographed exclusively for the Company, his earlier works became part of the repertoire of literally every noteworthy dance ensemble in the world, from the Mariinsky to the Paris Opera Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada.
He has received several "Bessie" (1988, 1998, 2004, 2007) and “Laurence Olivier” (1992, 1999, 2009) awards, along with numerous other distinctions including the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale.
Major institutions have commissioned him to create installations which activate architectural spaces with performances. ‘Choreographic objects’ of this sort (to use Forsythe’s own term for such works) have been presented at celebrated museums and galleries including the Louvre, the Tate Modern, MoMA, and the Venice Biennale.
In cooperation with specialists in the given fields, he has also created tools for recording, and researching dance and for dance education. The application “Improvisation Technologies: A Tool for the Analytical Dance Eye”, which he created in collaboration with the ZKM / Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie in Karlsruhe, is one of the most important tools currently in use in dance education institutions around the world. He gives lessons, masterclasses and workshops at universities and cultural institutions, and continues to amaze the dance community with his initiatives and the innovative research that underpin his projects.