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Subject: "Ballett Frankfurt out of immediate danger" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2786
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Brendan McCarthymoderator

03-06-02, 04:59 PM (GMT)
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"Ballett Frankfurt out of immediate danger"
   LAST EDITED ON 03-06-02 AT 09:19 PM (GMT)

This new thread continues the previous discussion at

The German Press Agency, DPA has reported that there was a "good and constructive atmosphere" at this morning's talks between William Forsythe and the Mayor of Frankfurt, Petra Roth. The company appears to be safe for the moment and both sides are now discussing a basis on which Forsythe and Ballett Frankfurt can remain in the city. The city treasurer, Horst Hemzal, attended the talks, as did the culture chairman Hans-Bernhard Nordhoff.

Later on, the Frankfurter Neue Press reported the following:

There was an assuring quality about the press release that followed the talks between Mayor Petra Roth and William Forsythe, the director of Ballett Frankfurt. According to the 14 line press statement, the talks took place " in a very constructive atmosphere." There was a common will to find a way to keep William Forsythe and his company in Frankfurt after 2004. The statement also said that any solution must also take account of Frankfurt's financial situation.

The statement aserted the council's determination to keep to strict budget discipline. However it also recognised the undoubted standing of William Forsythe and of Ballett Frankfurt. There was no finality about the talks and the continuation of Forsythe's contract after 2004 has yet to be negotiated. It is unlikely that he will be of a mind to agree to major cuts in the Ballett's budget.

Afterwards Ballett Frankfurt's press spokesman said she was happy with the outcome.There was a spirit of conciliation which had been lacking until now. Forsythe, she said, hoped to stay in Frankfurt as long as the conditions were right.

Joachim Geiger of the Frankfurter Neue Presse is unimpressed at the handling of the whole affair. The piece is very colourfully written and the translation is elided!

Frankfurt city council has done it again. Its management of its finances is rudderless and inept. The debate over Forsythe is a case in point. Not only has the city's good name been dragged through the mud internationally, but it has shown crass insensitivity towards a highly esteemed creative artist, who deserves better. And it looks as if the proposals were not even discussed widely within the ruling group in the first place, still less thought through properly.

Instead of denying immediately that there was any question of ending Forsythe's contract, the idea was, in effect, talked up and misinformation allowed to feed on itself. There was complete chaos and no co-ordination. Now it's all a matter of damage limitation, and of undoing the harm to the city's reputation abroad. Now for the next big gaffe.....

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Ballett Frankfurt out of immediate danger Brendan McCarthymoderator 03-06-02 2
     RE: Ballett Frankfurt out of immediate danger Bruceadmin 03-06-02 3
         RE: Ballett Frankfurt out of immediate danger Brendan McCarthymoderator 04-06-02 4
             Re: Forsythe Brendan McCarthymoderator 05-06-02 5
                 RE: Re: Forsythe katharine kanter 05-06-02 6
                     Ballett Frankfurt's future still on the line Brendan McCarthymoderator 05-06-02 7
                     RE: Re: Forsythe Robert 05-06-02 8
                     RE: Re: Forsythe Annelieseagain 05-06-02 9
                         RE: Re: Forsythe JohnB 05-06-02 10
                             RE: Re: Forsythe Leigh 06-06-02 18
                             RE: Re: Forsythe JohnB 08-06-02 21
                             RE: Re: Forsythe AEHandley 08-06-02 22
                             RE: Re: Forsythe Leigh 10-06-02 30
                     RE: Re: Forsythe Isobel Houghton 05-06-02 11
                         RE: Re: Forsythe Brendan McCarthymoderator 05-06-02 12
                             RE: Re: Forsythe Bruceadmin 05-06-02 14
                             Forsythe: "I want to stay in Frankfurt", he tells DPA. Brendan McCarthymoderator 05-06-02 15
                             The Forsythe Saga Brendan McCarthymoderator 06-06-02 17
                             RE: The Forsythe Saga - Friday morning Brendan McCarthymoderator 07-06-02 19
                             RE: The Forsythe Saga - Saturday. Brendan McCarthymoderator 08-06-02 20
                             Interesting figures Angela 10-06-02 23
                             RE: Interesting figures Viviane 10-06-02 24
                             RE: The Forsythe Saga Brendan McCarthymoderator 10-06-02 27
                             RE: The Forsythe Saga Brendan McCarthymoderator 10-06-02 28
                         RE: Re: Forsythe Carly Gillies 10-06-02 29
                             RE: Forsythe Saga Brendan McCarthymoderator 11-06-02 32
                             RE: Forsythe Saga Brendan McCarthymoderator 12-06-02 33
                             RE: Forsythe Saga Brendan McCarthymoderator 14-06-02 34
                             RE: Forsythe Saga Brendan McCarthymoderator 14-06-02 35
                             RE: Forsythe Saga Leigh 14-06-02 36
                             RE: Forsythe Saga Brendan McCarthymoderator 14-06-02 37
                             RE: Forsythe Saga Robert 16-06-02 38
                             RE: Forsythe Saga Brendan McCarthymoderator 17-06-02 39
                             Forsythe awarded Wexner Prize - press release. Brendan McCarthymoderator 20-06-02 40

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

03-06-02, 05:50 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Ballett Frankfurt out of immediate danger"
In response to message #0
   LAST EDITED ON 03-06-02 AT 09:14 PM (GMT)

Despite the apparent reprieve for Forsythe and Ballett Frankfurt, it will never be glad confident morning for the company again. Forsythe will have to think, as he had not needed to before, of his long term future.

At the recent 'Ballet Summit' in Canada, Reid Anderson, the artistic director of the Stuttgart Ballet, excited the envy of his colleagues with his description of a fully subsidized operation, encompassing three theatres, year-round performances, choreographic workshops, a new works program — and a chauffeur-driven limousine.

Anderson at Stuttgart, Neumeier at Hamburg and Bausch at Wuppertal will no doubt feel a chill wind from Frankfurt. German ballet directors have had a degree of financial security quite unknown to their colleagues in other countries. It has given them the space to focus completely on their companies' creativity.

However Germany has, by contrast with the rest of Europe, been a high tax economy. Politically this is becoming harder for German governments to sustain and tax will be a major issue in the forthcoming general election campaign. The harsh reality is that spending on the arts will be cut and that dance in Germany will cease to enjoy the degree of special protection it has enjoyed until now.

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03-06-02, 06:31 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Ballett Frankfurt out of immediate danger"
In response to message #2
   It may be sad that their is change, but I don't think anybody with a budget running to millions can afford to just assume its there for all time, no matter how much your peers think of you. Running a company is both about great creativity and managing a business so that you are around tomorrow as well. Managing the enterprise to secure the money it needs may not be where your heart is but if you don't manage it and mange it well somebody will manage you...

There is a strong case for Frankfurt getting money from some EU or United Nations arts foundation. I'm not sure if such entities really exist or are setup to handle such requests. But we are now in a small world and some companies are specialist that cruise the world and need to get funding that reflects that.

Its worth repeating though.. before giving a dime more to Forsythe it should be on the strict understanding that the work created is not just his and it cannot die with him just because he thinks that should be so.

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

04-06-02, 06:19 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Ballett Frankfurt out of immediate danger"
In response to message #3
   LAST EDITED ON 04-06-02 AT 08:12 AM (GMT)

Tuesday's New York Times reports the apparent reprieve for Ballett Frankfurt. "Mr. Forsythe said he was sure that Ms. Roth's conciliatory position today was the result of widespread publicity about the supposed threat to the Frankfurt Ballet as well as "thousands of letters and e-mails" from the international artistic community expressing support for the company. "The mayor called me on Friday and said, `We cannot handle the pressure,' " he added. He said he hoped that the negotiations could be concluded within the next two weeks. "It would be best for everyone if we come to a quick decision," he noted. "I would be very happy if the city would say yes or no. I have received some extraordinary offers which I cannot discuss. The most important thing for me is that I am able to live and work in a non-hostile environment."

New York Times

The Frankfurter Rundschau reports the local political fall-out. Members of the city's Social Democrat group, according to the Rundschau, are still pressing for savings in Frankfurt's theatre budget. This issue is far from settled.

Frankfurter Rundschau

An editorial in the Frankfurter Neue Presse gives a flavour of local feelings.

Friends can fall out easily over money. This week the city has had ample reminder that artists, in particular, can be sensitive and touchy. Yesterday Forsythe heard what he wanted to hear - that Frankfurt wants him to stay. He says he will, as long as the conditions are right.

Forsythe's international standing as an artist is not in question. But how can the city shut its eyes to the seriousness of the financial crisis? What is wrong with improving the income of the city's theatres by inviting companies which will please audiences?

A little more self-criticism would not go amiss. Neither would more attention to proper budget control. Artists are sensitive, certainly. But so also are the taxpayers.

Frankfurter Neue Presse

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

05-06-02, 07:38 AM (GMT)
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5. "Re: Forsythe"
In response to message #4
   Forsythe is meeting the local press in Frankfurt tomorrow (Thursday)and is expected to say more about his plans then. The attempt to dismiss him followed a warning from the German central government to the city of Frankfurt to sort out its deteriorating finances. The city treasurer, it seems, decided to cut the arts budget and saw Ballett Frankfurt as the softest option. While Forsythe seems to have had a reprieve, he insists he is not prepared to accept major cuts in his company's resources.

The regional broadcasting service has dismissed the statement issued after the meeting between Forsythe and the Mayor on Monday as 'nebulous'. It contrasted the muted local reaction with the ferocity of the international protest.

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katharine kanter

05-06-02, 09:50 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Re: Forsythe"
In response to message #5

Six or seven years ago, accompanied by my friend G.S., I attended a Frankfurt Ballet performance at the Opera there. G.S., an American who wishes to be known by his initials alone, forewarned of what Germany calls the Schicki-Micki dress code, had donned a white dinner jacket with jeans, boat shoes, and a Mickey-Mouse cap adorned with propellers that swivelled gracefully, if somewhat languidly, in the stifling air. He figured the spaced-out audience would not notice. And he figured right. As for the ballet itself, the closest simile would be Nietzsche, foaming at the mouth against Wagner.

Be that as it may, wires are abuzz from Tokyo to London with the news the Frankfurt Municipal Council is about to Lower the Boom on the fellow who has run the Ballet since 1984, the American William Forsythe. Virtually every major troupe in the world has sprung to Forsythe's support. The whole thing is blowing up into the usual Quarrel between the Ancients, and Moderns.

Who is this man William Forsythe ?

I have made it my business to see every single piece by Forsythe playing anywhere in my vicinity. At the end of the day, my own view is,

a/ that he is, or rather was, enormously talented, probably more talented than Georges Balanchine. Not only did Forsythe scrap Balanchine's deadly flat patterns, but the use of music in his better choreography has an unusual inevitability about it,

b/ that for reasons that one prefers not to speculate on (one might so speculate, but privately), Mr. Forsythe appears to have lost touch with his own faculties, and to have disintegrated, mentally, into the Pina Bausch mould of formless writhing,

c/ that his choreography is based on hyper-extension of every single articulation, while the cantilena, the singing line, has been replaced by jerking, twitching and popping. as spectacular and photogenic as Chinese acrobacy, it is also titillating, sensationalist, to the highest degree.

d/ that this represents a threat to the integrity of the human body, and is the theatrical equivalent of extremely violent video games like Counter-Strike. Whether it might not also lead to neurological disorders is something members of the medical profession are better placed to comment upon.

"Neurological disorders ?" Let us hear the Man Himself, from an interview that appeared in The Telegraph a year or so ago.

'Forsythe says one major inheritance from Balanchine is his use of the ballet position known as épaulement, which involves complex counter rotations of the body, including the shoulders, hips, hands, feet, head.

'As he says, "the mechanics of epaulement are what gives ballet its inner transitions. It's essential to a lot of my thinking." He takes this position one step further by what he calls disfocus. The dancers don't gaze out, but "stare up, roll their eyes back." Like a hypnotist might suggest, he asks them to "put your eyes in the back of your head." Their movement becomes "very water-like, shaky, unusual and serpentine". He warns: "Don't try this with too much furniture about."'

Now, that's an odd definition of épaulement.

It so happens that épaulement corresponds to contrapposto in Renascence drawing. The torso is "counter-posed" to the legs. In classical ballet, it is the turnout that allows the torso to "oppose" the legs. Professors like Vestris took as an ideal, in this regard, the work of Leonardo and Raphael. One casts first the eye in the direction one is going (the coup d'oeil), then a very slight rotation of the head, followed by a very slight rotation of the shoulder to create a dissymmetry as beautiful, as it is efficient in terms of kinetics. The key word is SLIGHT, this is not Japanese Origami.

As for staring, rolling one's eyes back, undergoing hypnosis, or banging into the furniture, or stage props, any relation between that, and épaulement, is a figment of Mr. Forsythe's imagination.

Since the scandal broke in the last days of May, Deborah Bull, former Principal Artist of the Royal Ballet, wrote an Open Letter in defence of Mr. Forsythe that reads, in part, as follows:

"it seems that the city of Frankfurt is to pass him over and install, in his place, yet another tradition-bound, creatively moribund troupe of dancers to give yet more performances of ballets by choreographers dead for over a century."

I beg to differ with Miss Bull, who, perhaps naively, has simply restated, in a different context, the Credo of a certain American faction who believe that black people should not bother themselves with Dante or Shakespeare.

A century, in the thousands of years of our history, is but an instant. Beethoven was but yesterday. He will move farther away, only when someone greater still is born. That has not yet happened, therefore, Beethoven is but yesterday.

Classical dance in the Western world is a modern art form, really only about four hundred years old. Being, as it is, utterly dependent on progress in music, it burst out into history as a major form only with Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert. All the technical breakthroughs, notably the integration of épaulement into the great jumps, invented by professors such as Gaetano Vestris at the Paris Opera, occurred in the first half of the Nineteenth Century.

Since the death of Schumann, there have been no major breakthroughs. Indeed, the ballet has shrivelled. Epaulement was eliminated at the beginning of the Twentieth century, under the influence of Cubism, Surrealism, Dadaism and so forth, while most of the steps used by Perrot or Bournonville, are fallen into disuse. The ballet has become flat, one-dimensional, and stale. Professional dancers are retiring at the age of 25 and 26, fed up to the gills.

No-one, save for a few diehards like Atylnai Assylmuratova - and perhaps a few dancers with the unbelievable commitment of a Kobborg, a Rojo, or a Cojocaru - feels passionate about it any more.

Now, the present writer's idea of Felicity on Earth, is perched on a stool watching Professor Ryberg teach a class in the Royal Theatre at Copenhagen. In other words, the present writer is notorious as a rabid fan of Auguste Bournonville (1805-1879), which prejudice should nevertheless not prevent one from listening to what other schools have to say in this precise respect.

In October 2001, Atylnai Assylmuratova was appointed head of the renowned Vaganova School at Saint Petersburg. She was herself for two decades the Maryinsky Theatre's prima ballerina. That autumn, she told a Belgian reporter, Marc Haegemann, the following:

"You see, when you work with a teacher who has been around for 30 or 40 years, he or she will tell you immediately what has been lost and why.

'When you watch a video tape of dancers of the old generations, for instance Galina Ulanova, Marina Semyonova, or a bit later Natalia Dudinskaya, you can see a certain coordination of body and arms, a musicality - you might call it ‘singing with the body’ - and above all an emotional depth to the dancing which no longer seem to exist today. The technique was present alright, but it was never there just for the sake of technique. The accent was first and foremost on emotion. However, now it’s all about high legs. I consider that a serious problem. All we seem to think about today is how high the legs can go, but there is hardly any concern anymore about form, plastique , harmony, and about what’s coming from inside the soul'.

Forsythe and Petipa – Scylla and Charybidis ?

In the ballet world, the Ancients are believed to be the Tutu and Tiara Faction, dyspeptic middle-aged people like myself who want to see the equivalent of a Broadway show, but with the girls in pointe shoes, and the men in white tights. The main supplier of such entertainment has, over the last century, been the work of Marius Petipa, a French-born choreographer who spent his entire adult life as Ballet Master at the Maryinski Theatre.

The Moderns, represented by Mats Ek, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian of the Nederlands Dans Teater, et al., are presented as Reformers and Innovators: they claim to have kept the classical training, the turn-out and the pointe shoes, while jettisoning the rest.

In the eye of the storm, William Forsythe has referred to Petipa's Swan Lake as a pre-prandial divertissement. The present writer could not agree more. Indeed, whether Petipa's work might ever have qualified as classical, is a moot point. And I am not alone in so thinking.

On October 31st 2001, this Website posted up a transcript of a most edifying exchange on BBC 2 Newsnight Extra about Petipa's Don Quixote at the ROH (Nureyev production), of which the juicier extracts appear below.

"Philip Hensher: This is such a depressing statement of intent. This awful piece is so dreary. (…) The orchestra just plainly couldn't be bothered, and I don't blame them. The designs could have been executed 50 years ago. This was one of the most depressing, boring evenings I could have imagined spending. It gives ballet a bad name. It is very difficult to see the cultural merit of this.

"Natasha Walter: (…) there's something sad about seeing all this technical training, this virtuosity, with no art really to spring it into life. In the end, it's very hard to take this kind of thing seriously, to see it as high culture (…).

"Kirsty Wark: Was there any emotion in it for you?

"John Carey: None whatsoever, nor any intellectual content. That's the trouble. Here's this glittering audience, paying a great deal for their seats, and the intellectual content is less than a first-class football match. Much the same skills are used, and this is thought to be high culture."

So there you go.

What is more, when people go out today and dance Nineteenth Century works, they are NOT dancing them as Perrot, Louis de Saint Léon and so forth, would have wished. They are dancing them with the aesthetic of Balanchine or Forsythe. The ramrod-straight lines, the extreme hyper-extensions, pressed and cracked way beyond the normal ambitus of articulation, the jetés opened out beyond 180 degrees, the thundering overdose of pointe work - the original piece, disfigured, has lost all weight, all worth.

Bankruptcy and the ballet

The German economy, like every other economy in Europe, is imploding under the weight of the dictatorship of the European Commission, the Maastricht Treaty, and three decades of industrial decline. Virtually every town and city is thus on the verge of bankruptcy. Municipal councils are casting about frantically to cut every non-essential expense. Even hospitals are now considered to be a non-essential expense.

Industrial decay has come to threaten the physical existence of nations. It must be halted.

As for the ballet, how is it to survive in such a climate ?

Heads on blocks !

Flashback to Russia, under World War II, in what I seem to recall was not precisely a flourishing moment in that country's economic history. Galina Ulanova was probably the most beloved figure in the country. She was, like Furtwaengler, a sort of alternative Head of State. Her artistic reputation, may I add, was not the result of media hype. Disagree as one might with certain technical or stylistic aspects, her dancing, was, in essence, the expression of beauty and love.

Over the last thirty years, a fact few would dispute, ballet has become a up-market branch of athletics. It is coarse, it is strained, it is brutal, it is outlandish. The only thing that is missing is anabolic steroids. There are now very few people, in the general public, who feel as strongly about the ballet as those Russians did under World War II.

Thus, when a Municipal Council stands up and bellows: Heads on blocks ! the limp neck of people like William Forsythe is all-too-readily offered up for the axe.

The public will defend a work of art, an artist, a company, ONLY if they have been moved by art. It's that simple. Classical artistic compositions do not produce the same effect as the Football World Cup, or athletic races. Their subject is Man, his ability to think and to produce entirely new concepts ab nihilo.

In 1995, this writer interviewed Elisabeth Maurin, étoile of the Paris Opera, where she said, inter alia,

"As to the impact of television, and the fad for gymnastics, to my mind, classical ballet is, at the end of the day, something for the connoisseur, for people who know something about the form. Some would have it be a popular art form. Well, it IS a universal language, but IT IS NOT A POPULAR ART FORM. The public, I think, has got to be educated."

Yes, the public has got to be educated. But who is going to educate them, if the most highly-trained professionals in our society, people like William Forsythe himself, are themselves addicted to a Laura-Croft aesthetic, that sweats emptiness, nihilism, from every pore ?

What people in the audience who have never danced themselves do not understand, gob-smacked, as they are, by how sensational it all is, is that this frenzy is unnatural. And, like everything unnatural, it has a severe debilitating effect on the performer, who becomes a broken little toy, a grinning Death's Head. His mind is turned off: that is what Forsythe really means by Disfocus.

Let Forsythe have his Disfocus. May I suggest, however, that classical ballet has itself lost its focus. Focus will not come back of its own accord, like five o'clock shadow. Anything on this earth that is positive, has got to be fought for.


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Brendan McCarthymoderator

05-06-02, 12:59 PM (GMT)
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7. "Ballett Frankfurt's future still on the line"
In response to message #6
   LAST EDITED ON 05-06-02 AT 06:09 PM (GMT)

Reports from Frankfurt suggest that Monday's meeting between William Forsythe and Mayor Roth may have resolved little and that Ballett Frankfurt's future is still in the balance. The union representing the city's theatre employees, including the dancers at Ballett Frankfurt, is threatening industrial action, if necessary, to prevent the company's closure. It has demanded an urgent meeting with the head of Frankfurt council's cultural services.

Meanwhile, 'Young SDP', the junior section of the Social Democrats, has accused the party's council members of gleefully taking part in an act of "cultural vandalism". They're demanding that the party back Forsythe, not undermine him. They say the right-wing Christian Democrats want to close the ballet, because it is "antagonistic to their worldview".

Forsythe will go on the record tomorrow when he meets local journalists. There has been no further comment from the Mayor or from Frankfurt City Council. This afternoon, the artistic directors of several major German theatre ensembles protested at the possible closure of the Theater am Turm where Ballett Frankfurt performs.

Forsythe's theatre. The photograph is from the Frankfurter Neue Presse and is linked to it.

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05-06-02, 03:46 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Robert Click to send private message to Robert Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
8. "RE: Re: Forsythe"
In response to message #6
   Thank you Katherine. I am still trying to digest all that you write. I agree with a lot of what you say, but you missed out his use of terrible music, something that must upset the Germans.

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05-06-02, 04:03 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Annelieseagain Click to send private message to Annelieseagain Click to add this user to your buddy list  
9. "RE: Re: Forsythe"
In response to message #6
   >A century, in the thousands of
>years of our history, is
>but an instant. Beethoven
>was but yesterday. He
>will move farther away, only
>when someone greater still is
>born. That has not
>yet happened, therefore, Beethoven is
>but yesterday.

Hmmm. I don't actually think that Beethoven hasn't been surpassed in the last 250 years. He made some tremendous breakthroughs but he's not alone in that! Come to that, he was often surpassed in the previous 150 years...

>Classical dance in the Western world
>is a modern art form,
>really only about four hundred
>years old. Being, as
>it is, utterly dependent on
>progress in music, it burst
>out into history as a
>major form only with Haydn,
>Beethoven and Schubert. All
>the technical breakthroughs, notably the
>integration of épaulement into the
>great jumps, invented by professors
>such as Gaetano Vestris at
>the Paris Opera, occurred in
>the first half of the
>Nineteenth Century.
>Since the death of Schumann, there
>have been no major breakthroughs.

In what? Dance or music? It seems to me that Balanchine and Forsythe have made a great many breakthroughs, all of which you loathe.

> Indeed, the ballet has
>shrivelled. Epaulement was eliminated
>at the beginning of the
>Twentieth century, under the influence
>of Cubism, Surrealism, Dadaism and
>so forth, while most of
>the steps used by Perrot
>or Bournonville, are fallen into
>disuse. The ballet has
>become flat, one-dimensional, and stale.

Gosh, absolutely, Ashton and Macmillan produced some pretty poor stuff, didn't they?

> Professional dancers are retiring
>at the age of 25
>and 26, fed up to
>the gills.
Oh yes, we see them leaving the stage in droves.

Just what were you trying to say in this piece? If it was that you don't like Forsythe and Balanchine, I think we all knew that already...

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05-06-02, 06:33 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail JohnB Click to send private message to JohnB Click to add this user to your buddy list  
10. "RE: Re: Forsythe"
In response to message #9
   Why should any government feel obliged to support ballet? If this forum can produce a convincing, politically desirable answer to that question, if we can get politicians to see the benefits and not just the costs of cultural enlightenment, then perhaps we have a solution. Continually looking over our shoulders and bickering at each other is stupid. Some of you, with better memories or archives than mine, may be able to quote Martha Graham's remarks, (to, I believe, the National Endowment for the Arts), from which I understand she said great civilizations’ cultural achievements live on, while their political ones are ephemeral. Unfortunately, our art, is by its very nature, ephemeral. Only in its cost intensive reperformance, can we continue to experience the artists’ intentions. German states are faced with feeding an ever increasing number of institutionalized senior citizens on €4.35 a day. The budgets in other EU states are probably similar. So how do we give the politicians the moral leverage, the vital image insight, to embrace the cost/unquantifiable benefits of continually investing in ballet? Do we follow a populist road? Do we try to cultivate connections, interest, finance from other athletic disciplines (football, winter-sports etc.)? Or is the future really just overworked candy floss confection – or unchallenging visual comfort food? Over four years ago, I included the following thought in a Ballet Independents’ Group press release: “Unless aggressive creative energy is re-injected into today's conservative programming, and vital image and marketing initiatives addressed, ballet in this country, as we know it today, will, overburdened with nostalgia, limp into the 21st century towards its just demise.” If we really love the art, it may not be too late to pull together and convince our politicians that there are votes in our message; that this is really why we as a species are here: to create, to challenge, to educate and to broaden perspectives beyond glib gratification.

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06-06-02, 07:13 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Leigh Click to send private message to Leigh Click to add this user to your buddy list  
18. "RE: Re: Forsythe"
In response to message #10
   I agree with the above posting by JohnB, but would like to add that I don't think that the options in ballet are confined to either solely the latest topical exploration or the retrograde. One of the most gratifying things about classicism is that in its abstraction it in fact steps outside of time to create something that can be looked at by several generations, each looking at it through the mirror of their own culture.

Ninette de Valois outlined a well-known plan for the repertory of Sadler's Wells, asking for the presentation of traditional works, modern works of future classic importance, topical works and nationalist works. Besides being sensible in its balance, it intelligently acknowledges the partnership of the works. The first Forsythe work for New York City Ballet, Behind the China Dogs had even more impact in a company that had Agon in its repertory. Great works of the past are not just nostalgia. Without these works, choreographers, dancers and audiences are forced to live in the amnesiac vacuum of the eternal present. I hope that ballet will never stop being like Janus, and will adventurously look forward even as it (and because it) reaches back.

Leigh Witchel

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08-06-02, 10:14 PM (GMT)
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21. "RE: Re: Forsythe"
In response to message #18
   I should have expressed more clearly my concern about over using selective preferences from the past to justify one branch, or personal view of ballet at the expense of a forward-looking approach. Some of this thread illustrates this amply: post hoc, ergo propter hoc – attempts to show causality from conditions irrelevant to the effect. Ballet, like any other art form, needs no justification. We can accept, challenge and develop ballet, or reject it. A forward-looking approach embraces all existing excellence and while concurrently emphasising the relevance of our art for today and beyond. And that emphasis is where we tend to fall short. Teachers can, and must illustrate the techniques, styles and developments from the grand bequests of the great names so often mentioned in these columns. Those of us involved with restaging, creation, marketing and audience building must look forward and set the objectives we want to achieve.

And this is the crux of the problem for Frankfurt, (and next week, … who knows?): How can we successfully, internally market our loss generating art to paymasters, whose political fads, priorities and responsibilities change with almost tidal frequency? A city council has responsibility for so many areas. How many votes will be lost, and Frankfurt political careers terminally damaged, if Ballett Frankfurt dies? Whatever solution comes out of the council chamber in Frankfurt next week, it will most probably be a temporary one. Personally, if at all possible, I much prefer to have charitable trust, as opposed to local, regional or national government involvement in underwriting a current account. But financially, does that mean having a trust capital of around $150,000,000 to generate enough income to pay the wages of a major company (~80 dancers), it's ancillary staff and space costs, before we've even bought a pair of pointe shoes? (Let's see if this triggers a debate!). As long as there is freedom of creative interpretation, I've nothing against corporate sponsorship of individual productions. And, if ticket prices can cover stage rental, do these all these elements taken together constitute a model worth pursuing? Now isn't it the debate of, and answers to these questions, which will convince Frankfurt et al. that our community is seriously proposing alternative survival strategies?

And a final question (perhaps a little tongue in cheek!): Does anyone care to speculate on how Marius Petipa would have set, say, 'Sleeping Beauty,' if he’d had the breadth and depth of the artistic abilities and the strength and staminia of today's dancers, in the numbers now available? The same? A little different? A lot different? Completely different? Answers please!

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08-06-02, 10:47 PM (GMT)
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22. "RE: Re: Forsythe"
In response to message #21
   What a good posting. Thanks for the sanity injection!

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10-06-02, 10:58 PM (GMT)
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30. "RE: Re: Forsythe"
In response to message #21
   >And a final question (perhaps a
>little tongue in cheek!): Does
>anyone care to speculate on
>how Marius Petipa would have
>set, say, 'Sleeping Beauty,' if
>he’d had the breadth and
>depth of the artistic abilities
>and the strength and staminia
>of today's dancers, in the
>numbers now available? The same?
>A little different? A lot
>different? Completely different? Answers please!

John, I can attempt to answer that with an anecdote. About a year ago I watched a very fine dancer from NYCB, Ashley Bouder, learn a variation resurrected from a 1935 work by Balanchine, Reminiscence. Bouder is about as technical and strong a dancer as you could hope for, with an avid jump. The most interesting thing about the variation was she couldn't get through it in one take. Now, that could have been many reasons (the most obvious being she learned it in one long sitting and she could have been tired) but I've learned from doing historical research that our automatic assumptions that today's dancers are incomparably better to previous ones should not be automatic. The training is different. The cultural milieu is different. In the 40's and 50's, men did not stretch because they were told not to - it was felt it would ruin their jump. It's possible to look at tapes of ballets like Agon over a 40 year performance span. The ballet doesn't necessarily get worse or better. It just changes as the background culture changes as well.

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Isobel Houghton

05-06-02, 06:54 PM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Re: Forsythe"
In response to message #6
>figured the spaced-out audience would
>not notice. And he
>figured right.

Katharine he is not alone in this. A friend of mine who works in a high administrative position at the ROH has told me that the current management is at pains to try and stop the flagrant use of cocaine in the amphi toilets during intervals.

>Who is this man William Forsythe?
He's a choreographer.

>Mr. Forsythe appears to
>have lost touch with his
>own faculties

He is not alone within ballet companies. Note the disintegration of the use of epaulement on our ballet stages. (refer back to first point about amphi toilets)
>while the cantilena, the
>singing line, has been replaced
>by jerking, twitching and popping.
Again refer back to amphi toilets

>it is
>also titillating, sensationalist, to the
>highest degree.

>d/ that this represents a threat
>to the integrity of the
>human body, and is the
>theatrical equivalent of extremely violent
>video games like Counter-Strike.

On a related topic one hopes that with the Frankfurt debacle over Forsythe will now be able to get on with his new ballet "Tomb Raider/Schtoom Leider" with Sylvie guesting in the Lara Croft role. Can't wait.

>Whether it might not also
>lead to neurological disorders is
>something members of the medical
>profession are better placed to
>comment upon.

Again, the amphi toilets.
>As for staring, rolling one's eyes
>back, undergoing hypnosis, or banging
>into the furniture, or stage
>props, any relation between that,
>and épaulement, is a figment
>of Mr. Forsythe's imagination.

Do I need to say it again?

>I beg to differ with Miss
>Bull, who, perhaps naively, has
>simply restated, in a different
>context, the Credo of a
>certain American faction who believe
>that black people should not
>bother themselves with Dante or

I fail to see the connection between a modern ballet company and racism. Katharine how much time have you spending in the amphi toilets?

>Since the death of Schumann, there
>have been no major breakthroughs.
> Indeed, the ballet has
>shrivelled. Epaulement was eliminated
>at the beginning of the
>Twentieth century,

How d'you know? Were you there?

Katharine dear, what on earth is your point? Do you have one? Do you even know what you want to see on a ballet stage? I have the feeling that your rabid dislike of sensation is far more deep rooted than an abhorrance of six o clock positions. Art is sensation, it's not lumpen evocations of some long dead image of a 19th century ballerina pretending to be a sylph.

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

05-06-02, 07:03 PM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Re: Forsythe"
In response to message #11
   I'm sorry Isobel has posted as she has. My views are much closer to hers than to Katharine's, but I really dislike the tenor of that last posting. What is doubly unfortunate is that Isobel is well capable of disciplined argument. A return to her previous form would be welcome.

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05-06-02, 08:27 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Re: Forsythe"
In response to message #12
I've just removed a post that was insulting of other posters.

Such behaviour is not acceptable.

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

05-06-02, 09:42 PM (GMT)
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15. "Forsythe: "I want to stay in Frankfurt", he tells DPA."
In response to message #14
   LAST EDITED ON 05-06-02 AT 09:48 PM (GMT)

In an interview with the German newswire DPA tonight, Bill Forsythe said he needed to have clarity about his company's future by the end of June. He repeated his wish to remain in Frankfurt as long as the conditions were right. The precise nature of these conditions he was unwilling to discuss, because of the continuing negotiations with Frankfurt City Council

He said he had been more confused than angered by the developments of the last week. "For 20 years I have created work here in Frankfurt which has been respected around the world", he told DPA's correspondent. "I do not understand this assault on me and on my work". He said he had first read news of the city's plans in a newspaper; no-one had given him any advance notice of what was being discussed. Monday's meeting with Mayor Petra Roth, he said, had cleared the air somewhat. At least the city was now prepared to discuss the possible extension of his contract after 2004.

Offers from other cities

Forsythe told the DPA that he had invitations from several other cities. This was the least of his problems. "I have five solid offers at present", he said. But, he went on, he held Frankfurt in affection. If he left, there was every danger that his company of 38 dancers would be dispersed. They were, he explained, the living archive of his choreography. Such a team could not be rebuilt overnight. It would take years to establish a proper company elsewhere. "Modern ballet cannot be notated properly", he explained. "While movement can be recorded, the essential record is the muscle memory of the company's dancers. Living oral tradition is everything. There is a collective memory of artistic knowledge. I don't have a monopoly; the dancers are also of crucial importance."

International Support

Forsythe rejected criticism from several councillors on Frankfurt's cultural committee that the company spent too little time in the city; that it did not offer enough work that was new; and that it cost too much. "We are an international symbol of Frankfurt", he told DPA. "Thanks to Ballett Frankfurt, the city has a reputation for being culturally progressive". He said that he had been immensely moved by the support he had received from around the world, after news of the council's plans became public. "Ballett Frankfurt's problem became a global problem. I don't know if it has ever happened that so many people have rallied around one artist with a problem like that I had with Frankfurt Council.

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

06-06-02, 06:24 AM (GMT)
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17. "The Forsythe Saga"
In response to message #15
   LAST EDITED ON 06-06-02 AT 10:06 AM (GMT)

The Frankfurter Rundschau reports the latest developments.

Next Tuesday Frankfurt Council expects to agree its revised budget for Ballett Frankfurt. Yesterday the Christian Democrats decided to support the renewal of William Forsythe's contract, but only on condition that he accepts the proposed cuts. The Social Democrats demand to know how the Ballett intends to implement the cuts, and whether it can continue to offer a credible programme of performances. The over-riding aim, says the SDP, should be, that, whatever happens, Frankfurt audiences should have "ballet in outstanding quality ".

The issue now is whether Forsythe will feel able to agree to what will be a major cut. At today's press conference to present Ballett Frankfurt's 2002/2003 programme, he is expected to answer questions about his company's crisis. The city treasurer, Horst Hemzal, still insists the city cannot afford Forsythe and that cosmetic cuts are not enough. Hemzal said "If I reduce the Ballett's numbers, and a dancer is ill, we lose entire performances. That does not help the city". Whatever the truth of the matter, the issue must be resolved before the holidays begin at the end of June.

Meanwhile the main political parties have been considerably angered at what they see as an orchestrated international protest. The city's administration is still being deluged by hundreds of emails on a standardised form. Behind the scenes the Green Party, which supports Forsythe, has had intensive private talks with the Christian Democrats to try to secure their support for the renewal of Forsythe's contract and the continued independence of his theatre. It was not clear last night whether the parties would agree on a united approach before next Tuesday's budget meeting.

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

07-06-02, 08:57 AM (GMT)
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19. "RE: The Forsythe Saga - Friday morning"
In response to message #17
   While the city treasurer continues to insist loudly that Frankfurt cannot afford Forsythe, the politicans are tiring of the fuss and there is a greater sense of compromise in the air. The Social Democrats seemed to have softened somewhat their opposition to Forsythe.

A reorganisation of the city's theatres is under discussion, which would free Forsythe of many of his administrative duties, leaving him purely to concentrate on artistic direction. The final decisions could be made a week today.

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

08-06-02, 07:35 AM (GMT)
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20. "RE: The Forsythe Saga - Saturday."
In response to message #19
   LAST EDITED ON 08-06-02 AT 07:43 AM (GMT)

" I can offer nothing ", Frankfurt's city treasurer Horst Hemzal, said yesterday, saying there was no money available even to finance a slimmed-down Ballett Frankfurt. There is no funding for the ballet in the budget proposals he has submitted to the Council. However key councillors openly disagree with Hemzal. When the Council decides on the Ballett's future, possibly next Friday, Forsythe is cautiously optimistic about the outcome. "I believe the city knows what is at stake and that it now understands how the Ballett enhances its image. As long as my work as an artist is protected, that is all that matters to me"

The Cultural Chairman, a member of the Social Democrats, has changed sides and is backing the renewal of Forsythe's contract. He now says the Ballet is an important symbol of Frankfurt and he has accused the city treasure of blinkered obsession with finances to the exclusion of all else. The Greens are gathering signatures locally for a petition to save Ballett Frankfurt; so far 680 people have signed it.

Forsythe seems in the last two days to have accumulated enough political support to keep his company in Frankfurt. His budget will be cut and he will be warned that over-runs are not acceptable (apparently this has been a chronic problem with the city's arts spending). Ballett Frankfurt intends next season to offer two shorter ones and a full-length work, Decreation , a collaboration with the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York. Decreation's premiere will be in April.

Yesterday's Times reports on the funding crisis for local government in Germany, which is at the root of Ballett Frankfurt's problems.

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10-06-02, 02:08 PM (GMT)
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23. "Interesting figures"
In response to message #20
   Horst Koegler had some interesting figures about Forsythe today in his koeglerjournal on the German ballet website www.tanznetz.de. Forsythe's annual budget seems to be the same as that of the Bavarian State ballet: 6.5 million Euros for 32 dancers, whereas Munich has to pay around 60 dancers, foreign choreographers, expensive stage design for classical productions and so on. This nourishes the rumours that Forsythe himself is paid extremely high.

Link to the German text:

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10-06-02, 02:55 PM (GMT)
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24. "RE: Interesting figures"
In response to message #23
   At long last this is getting interesting : one can only judge if all of the playing-cards are on the table ?!
And if one knows that a corps de ballet dancer in Germany, earns about twice the amount of a dancer based in another European company...
Yes, some of the artistic directors can work magic

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

10-06-02, 05:22 PM (GMT)
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27. "RE: The Forsythe Saga"
In response to message #17
   LAST EDITED ON 10-06-02 AT 05:28 PM (GMT)

While events have moved on since May 30th, when BBC Radio 4's Front Row reported the breaking story, this discussion raises some issues that are worth revisiting.

Mark Lawson: William Forsythe has become one of the most successful modern choreographers: his reputation resting on the Ballet Frankfurt troupe which he founded in 1984. But - to the great surprise of the dance world - Forsythe has found himself to be a hero everywhere except at home. Frankfurt City Councillors plan to close down his company and replace it with a classical dance troupe. The dance critic of the Guardian, Judith Mackrell, joins us on the line to take us through the steps. Judith, in the nature of things, a lot of people will now be reading about him as a news story, who wouldn’t read about him as a choreographer. So let’s establish that. How important is he as a choreographer?

Judith Mackrell: I would say he had taken ballet into the late 20th century, if not into the 21st century, for a wide international audience. His works are in the repertory of a lot of ballet companies around the world. His own company is what tours worldwide and is watched, not by the mainstream opera house audience, but a really mixed and incredibly enthusiastic audience. He has taken the language forward and he has widened the audience, I would say, more than any other classical choreographer of his generation.

I was trying to think of an analogy for what the Frankfurt Council is doing and, it seems to me, it’s almost as if London Assembly members said: “Tate Modern – fantastic building. It has brought in all these hundreds of thousands of extra tourists. We personally prefer paintings from the Italian Renaissance and we would like to put those in the building. That’s what it feels like.

Yes. Bit I think this case is very particular to ballet and possibly to opera as well, in that some of the funders who generously support the art form have a far more nostalgic view of the art form, than, perhaps, the profession does itself. And that there is a tendency for the big opera or ballet opening to be a corporate entertainment occasion, a place where people can enjoy a bit of glossy escapism. I think you will find few people within the profession, who would have any quarrel with Forsythe and they would rampantly admire what he does. It’s those who know least about the art form, and who want to annexe it for their own purposes, who most want to keep it back in the 19th century with its tutus and tiaras.

And also you think of what Ross Stretton is doing in London, where the emphasis is on modern dance, as opposed to the older tradition, they seem to be reversing that trend as well or trying to.

Yes. Ross Stretton is going to keep the 19th century classics because those are….

Lawson: Yes. But a large part of his marketing strategy is modern art.

He needs to take the art form forward. I think, as I said, that it’s people outside the ballet, it’s the funders, the partygoers, it’s the networkers, who want to return to a classical storytelling company. And frankly there are dozens of companies around the world that can do that. If they really want that, you know, book in a few touring Russian companies to provide that kind of entertainment. Nobody does what Forsythe does, or at least there is a generation that is now imitating him, but he is the meat and potatoes, he is the original, and I’m astounded that they actually probably don’t realise it. I think they will get a huge shock when the rest of the art world starts screaming and emailing and yelling and protesting, because they already up and running on that.

We’ll see about that. Thank you very much, Judith Mackrell of the Guardian

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

10-06-02, 08:23 PM (GMT)
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28. "RE: The Forsythe Saga"
In response to message #27
   LAST EDITED ON 10-06-02 AT 08:37 PM (GMT)

The Director of Frankfurt Opera, Paolo Carignani, has just had his contract renewed to 2008. The present one expires in 2004. No problems for him, it seems.

Angela's post is interesting - and it reinforces a recurring theme in the press coverage: that dancers' pay is a surprisingly small part of the budget of Ballett Frankfurt. Recently I found an interview with Forsythe by Julie Copeland of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It makes interesting reading in the light of recent events. Curious how censorious ballet.co's software is of Forsythe's language

Julie Copeland: What about the audiences? A couple of your other works did cause a fuss in Europe when you first presented them. A lot of people were shocked.

William Forsythe: I think the initial fussiness was from fussy people you know, they fuss rather, and I believe that the fuss was from opera subscribers who we were part of at the beginning of our work in Frankfurt. After that we changed the system and we had our own subscription. I believe there was just a farty old opera public quite frankly, and people who were looking at dancing or interested in dancing came and would end up watching the dance. I don’t think the works ever caused much fuss, it’s pretty direct, and it’s always ultimately been about dancing.

You must have built your own audience by now because of your reputation.

Yes, we have, but that’s also becoming suspect because after a while you’re ‘well-known and good’ and so people come and buy tickets not because they’re really interested in watching dancing but because it’s supposedly a ‘ bona fide cultural event’ and ‘oh, they’re supposed to be good, let’s go see them.’ Whereas they don’t really know why they’re there, and you get people acquiring something like a middle-class acquisition like a certain kind of upscale magazine or something.

Nevertheless, it does seem that dance is ‘where it’s at’ in terms of kind of cross-arts and multi-skilled performers. If you look at some of the more innovative and cutting edge companies, most of whom seem to be working in Europe, there is a combination of visual arts and music and sound and movement Can you only do the kind of work you’re doing in Europe? Is that where the constituency is for that sort of work rather than, for example, the United States?

Yes, I think so. The work needs a different kind of process and I would never get the time or the conditions to create that kind of work . Europe is the place where it’s happening.

Why is that? Is it just to do with the funding, the fact that you get state funding to do what you want artistically and so don’t have to worry too much about the box office, which you probably couldn’t in the United States? Or are there other factors?

You have to look before that. The point is, what is the position of culture in Europe and the position of culture in the United States? In Europe, culture is not just ‘a given’ but an integral part of society. There is an Opera House in virtually every city because people expect this. Art emerges out of the state, it isn’t just a private thing.

And it’s subsidised?

It is. People say ‘oh, you’re subsidised, doesn’t that make you lazy?’ And I say, ‘what about politicians?’ I say, ‘don’t they have a responsibility?’ I mean, you have public money -- you should get your ##### together! It’s everyone’s money so I have to work on urban projects. It’s municipal money in Frankfurt so we’re the ‘Frankfurt Civic Ballet’ (as I call it).

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Carly Gillies

10-06-02, 10:49 PM (GMT)
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29. "RE: Re: Forsythe"
In response to message #11
I think Katherine was talking about epaulement and eye-rolling in relation to dancers, and I think we can rest assured that it's not them going all the way to the amphi toilets for their interval recreational activities?
Surely you're a little reassured to discover that the behaviour of the "elitist" opera house audience is just the same as that of those members of the public who instead frequent every other pub club or theatre in London?
Anyway I suspect it's not a new activity. The first time I heard "cocaine" and "kingdom of the shades" in the same sentence must be about 30 years ago.

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

11-06-02, 09:14 PM (GMT)
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32. "RE: Forsythe Saga"
In response to message #29
   Frankfurt's experimental theatre, the TAT, for which Forsythe also has responsibility, is to be closed down as the council struggles with its budget crisis. The city has been ordered by the regional government to make sharp spending cuts. It expects to shave £8 million from its arts budget by 2005.

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

12-06-02, 09:01 AM (GMT)
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33. "RE: Forsythe Saga"
In response to message #32
   LAST EDITED ON 12-06-02 AT 10:06 AM (GMT)

Today's Frankfurter Rundschau reports that Frankfurt City Council's head of culture is to lead the negotiations with William Forsythe about an extension of his contract after 2004. Council sources do not expect the negotiations to be completed before the summer vacation, but to be resumed in the autumn.

According to the German newswire DPA, the prospect has been mooted that the German Lander (state) of Hesse, to which Frankfurt belongs, could take over Ballett Frankfurt and fund it as a state ensemble. It is no more than a possibility at this stage, but Forsythe does not rule it out.

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

14-06-02, 06:57 AM (GMT)
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34. "RE: Forsythe Saga"
In response to message #33
   LAST EDITED ON 14-06-02 AT 06:57 AM (GMT)

A commentary in today's Frankfurter Allgemeine is critical of William Forsythe's stewardship of Theater am Turm, Frankfurt's experimental theatre space. This story is slightly tangential to the Ballett Frankfurt saga, but nonethless gives an insight into his management style.

"Forsythe's interest in the TAT was a matter not of content but of stage technique. As a result, the TAT became an expensive changeling. Previously it had been an economical vehicle, providing high value for money and speed in establishing the city's reputation as a major international theater location."

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

14-06-02, 01:04 PM (GMT)
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35. "RE: Forsythe Saga"
In response to message #34
   LAST EDITED ON 14-06-02 AT 03:02 PM (GMT)

Further back on this thread, I cited an interview with William Forsythe in which he said (speaking in German) "Modern ballet cannot be notated properly. While movement can be recorded, the essential record is the muscle memory of the company's dancers. Living oral tradition is everything. There is a collective memory of artistic knowledge. I don't have a monopoly; the dancers are also of crucial importance."

The US Federal Copyright Law of 1976 specifies that any choreographic works to which its protection applies must be "fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device."

If, on Forsythe's account, his work cannot be notated properly to the extent that it cannot be fixed or reproduced, might this mean that he cannot claim the protection of US copyright law for his ballets? Might it also mean his executors would be unable to enforce any provision in Forsythe's will that his ballets should not be performed after his death?

I merely ask.

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14-06-02, 06:03 PM (GMT)
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36. "RE: Forsythe Saga"
In response to message #35
   LAST EDITED ON 14-06-02 AT 06:04 PM (GMT)

Brendan -

I'm not an intellectual property lawyer, but I think US copyright would hold - the operative word in Forsythe's sentence is "properly". His works have been recorded; he simply is not satisfied with the result.

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

14-06-02, 06:21 PM (GMT)
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37. "RE: Forsythe Saga"
In response to message #36
   Thanks Leigh. I suspect your instincts on this are right.
I wonder if the eventual Graham verdict might have implications for the case law on copyright and, by extension, for Forsythe's will? It will be a fascinating ruling when it comes.

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16-06-02, 06:51 PM (GMT)
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38. "RE: Forsythe Saga"
In response to message #37
   I have no intention of going to Frankfurt nor of going to Sadlers Wells when Ballet Frankfurt are around. I just hope that Ross Stretton does not buy in any of his ballets, if they do I will have to repair to the amphi toilets where it is all happening!

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

17-06-02, 07:42 AM (GMT)
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39. "RE: Forsythe Saga"
In response to message #38
   LAST EDITED ON 17-06-02 AT 09:16 AM (GMT)

Frankfurt city council will discuss Forsythe's future on Thursday as well as the overspend of €10 million on last year's culture budget.

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

20-06-02, 04:20 PM (GMT)
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40. "Forsythe awarded Wexner Prize - press release."
In response to message #39
   LAST EDITED ON 20-06-02 AT 07:34 PM (GMT)

American-born choreographer William Forsythe, director of the highly regarded Frankfurt Ballet, will receive the 10th Wexner Prize. The $50,000 Prize is awarded to a contemporary artist who has been consistently original, influential, and challenging to convention. William Forsythe is widely considered one of the most important dance artists of our time, on a par with such giants in the dance world as George Balanchine.

A revolutionary thinker and artistic provocateur, Forsythe has set new standards internationally for ballet and modern dance companies alike. His Frankfurt Ballet (known as Ballett Frankfurt abroad) has attracted the top dancers in the world, and the company’s rare concerts in the U.S. have been occasions for pilgrimages by a faithful following. “Forsythe is a towering figure in his field, equally acclaimed for his daring and his virtuosity,” says Sherri Geldin, Wexner Center director. “He is an undisputed revolutionary who has altered the formal and conceptual terrain of dance, yet he has never lost touch with the pure physical joy of dancing.”

Leslie Wexner, chair of the Wexner Center Foundation Board of Trustees and founder of Limited Brands, commented, “We are pleased to award the 10th Wexner Prize to groundbreaking choreographer William Forsythe. A vanguard artist with roots in classical technique, Forsythe joins past Wexner Prize winners in leaving a vital cultural legacy in his wake.”

Previous recipients include Peter Brook, Merce Cunningham and John Cage, Yvonne Rainer, Martin Scorsese, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Rauschenberg and Renzo Piano.

The award ceremony is likely to be in October/November. More details at http://www.wexarts.org/ctr/residencies/prize/

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