William Forsythe

© Dominik Mentzos

Biographie

Born in 1949 in New York, choreographer and dancer William Forsythe is considered one of the foremost exponents of modern ballet. After training in Florida, he danced with Joffrey Ballet and later Stuttgart Ballet, which in 1976 appointed him resident choreographer for the next seven years. In 1984, he began a twenty-year tenure as director of Ballet Frankfurt, which resulted in the setting of new standards in ballet on a worldwide scale. William Forsythe has choreographed numerous pieces that, while reflecting the classical repertoire, employ a stringently mathematical, yet imaginative and sensual formal language to transform dance into a dynamic 21st-century art form. His choreographies have been performed by leading ensembles worldwide. After the closure of Ballet Frankfurt, Forsythe established a new ensemble in 2005: The Forsythe Company, which he directed from 2005 to 2015, leading him to produce works in the fields of performance, installation and film. Forsythe’s artistic oeuvre goes far beyond stage-bound productions and has resulted in the creation of choreographic objects and instructions that are employed by him to invite exhibition visitors to participate and become active, choreographing their movements within the museum space. His artistic work has been presented by numerous international museums and biennials, e.g. the Venice Biennale, MoMA (New York), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Staatliche Kunstsammlungen (Dresden) and MMK Museum of Modern Art (Frankfurt am Main). William Forsythe is the recipient of several Bessie Awards and Laurence Olivier Awards, was honoured with the title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres and has received numerous awards and honours in Germany, the U.S. and France as well as the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale. Moreover, he has researched new approaches to dance documentation and dance notation, which are collected digitally in Forsythe’s Motion Bank. In the context of Wiener Festwochen, works of William Forsythe were shown in 1984, 1998 and, most recently, ALIE/NA(C)TION in 1999.

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William Forsythe
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