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  (By Dennis Mullen)

On June 5 the last performance of the Frankfurt Ballett took place in Berkeley. It disbands this month and the Artistic Director, William Forsythe, will start a new, smaller company based in both Frankfurt and Dresden.

He is an American by birth, but has been living and working in Germany since the 1970's. His first wife was Tracy Kai-Maier, a principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet. Unfortunately, she died of cancer about 10 years ago.

His second wife is also an American-trained dancer. The company looked very sharp. They dance his choreography and it is the cutting edge of contemporary classical dance.

The Mariyinsky ballet has just added three of his ballets to their rep. The ballets premiered about a month ago. One of the programs will be repeated on Sunday, June 20th at the Mariinsky Theatre.

Forsythe choreographed New Sleep on the San Francisco Ballet in 1987 or so. It was wonderful, but many of the conservative subscribers stormed in mid-performance. San Francisco Ballet later added his "In the middle, somewhat elevated" which was originally set on Sylvie Guillem and the Paris Opera Ballet in the late 1980's. It is a fast-paced ballet which pushes the neo-classical boundaries. Move over Balanchine, it's back to Petipa-plus!

Finally, San Francisco Ballet added his The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude which was set originally on the Frankfurt Ballett. The music was the last movement to a Franz Schubert symphony. The dancing requires bravura dancing at its utmost speed, movement, and articulation.

There was an on-line battle or discussion about which company danced it the best (it has only been set on a handful of companies). Was it the Frankfurt Ballett, Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, or the Australian Ballet? I don't know if it was set on the Maryinsky Ballet this spring. But it will be interesting to find out how the company dances his choreography. More than Christopher Wheeldon, or Nacho Duarte, it is the ballets of William Forsythe that are testing the technique of our current generation of classical dancers.

SPYLOG Rambler Домашняя страница Александра Федорова
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