William Forsythe

William Forsythe | Photo © Bettina Stöß

A critical anarchist who uses ballet as a technical orientation and as a parody rather than a cultural paradigm. Nevertheless, the choreographer William Forsythe helped this art form to reach new heights in Germany after 1980. Born in New York in 1949, he studied theatre, fine arts and mathematics before training as a dancer at the Joffrey Ballet School. In 1973 he joined the Stuttgart Ballet, where he also choreographed from 1976-81. In 1984 he became director of Ballett Frankfurt, which he led to international fame with pieces such as “Artifact”, “Limb’s Theorem” and “Kammer/Kammer”. He has also created works for ballet companies in Paris, Munich, San Francisco and New York. Most of his more than 100 choreographies are complex works that reveal structures of movement and society, raising levels of theatre and dance as well as questions about philosophy, love, perception, gender, media, film, literature – scientific and also fiction – rock ‘n’ roll, musical and also, as in “Alie/na(c)tion, social issues such as xenophobia. His progressive exploration of movement takes ballet further and further beyond a previous neoclassical or Laban influences.


(Gabriele Wittmann)

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Dance and Media

Stage works / video clips:

Dance to Freedom | William Forsythe in Hellerau