Forsythe, William

Forsythe, William fôrsīthˈ [key], 1949–, American dancer and choreographer, b. New York City. He trained with the Joffrey Ballet (1971–73), then joined the Stuttgart Ballet (1973), becoming its resident choreographer (1978). His choreography there included Dream of Galilei (1978) and, to the music of Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick, Love Songs (1979). In 1980 he left to create more experimental works for other companies, including the Paris Opéra Ballet, Munich State Opera Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, and Netherlands Dance Theatre. As director of the Frankfurt Ballet (1984–2004), he began incorporating video projections, talking, and electronic sound in his dances. In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated (1987), created for the Paris Opéra Ballet, has been widely performed and was incorporated into the longer Impressing the Czar (1988). His Forsythe Company (2005–15) continued to combine performance with installation, multimedia, and film; it premiered his Three Atmospheric Studies in 2005. Later works include Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time (2009) and, for the Paris Opéra Ballet, Blake Works I (2016). Forsythe worked with the Boston Ballet beginning in 2016, where, returning to earlier styles, he created less experimental, more classical ballets, e.g., Playlist (EP) (2019).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Dance: Biographies