However you choose to see William Forsythe—willful provocateur, poet of the anti-ballet, master of anarchic beauty—there is no doubt that he has extended the reach and possibility of modern dance as few other contemporary choreographers have done. The three works that compose this programme exemplify the extraordinary range and flavour of his work.
The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude is a short, but fiercely demanding work created by the choreographer in 1996 for his Ballet Frankfurt company. Set to the final movement of Schubert’s Ninth Symphony, it demonstrates, as the title suggests, the bracing excitement of pure classical technique, its rigour, focus and speed, and functions as an homage to traditional classical and neo-classical form as perfected by Petipa and Balanchine.
Approximate Sonata 2016 is more subdued Forsythe, a reflective, if no less vigorously athletic, assemblage of intricately shaped and continually surprising pas de deux, set to a hushed, minimalist piano score by Thom Willems.
The Second Detail, an astonishing work that was created for The National Ballet of Canada in 1991, is in many ways quintessential Forsythe—slyly mischievous, athletic and, above all, exhilarating in its love of human movement in all its variety.
"Brilliant, inscrutable and wildly entertaining by turns, William Forsythe is at once a ballet purist and the high priest of post-structural contemporary dance." The Observer
The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude
“A brief, dazzling showcase of ballet technique that is nailed by its title: it’s all about verticality, virtuosity and precision – plus that frisson of danger as you sense that one wrong foot could bring the whole thing down.” — Bachtrack
“Classical ballet on fast-forward, a torrent of super-quick steps racing against the tempo of Schubert's music.” — Evening Standard
Approximate Sonata 2016
“The most showily balletic work Forsythe ever made.” — The Guardian
The Second Detail
“Saucy, cheeky and sly. It is dance with attitude, filled with crisp and precise total-body moves that announce an in-your-face world.” — The Globe and Mail
“A wonderful spectacle of impeccable footwork and light, precise port de bras; these are dancers working at their peak, and it was an impressive start to the evening.” — Dance International
"A masterpiece by an American genius working at the peak of his powers." — The Washington Times
The National Ballet of Canada dedicates Physical Thinking to the memory of cherished leader, philanthropist, volunteer and friend Sandra Faire.
The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude (Company Premiere)
Franz Schubert, Allegro Vivace from Symphony No. 9 in C-Major, D944
Set and Lighting Design:
Approximate Sonata 2016 (Company Premiere)
Set and Lighting Design:
Lead philanthropic support for The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and Approximate Sonata 2016 is generously provided by Sandra Simpson, an anonymous friend of the National Ballet and The Estate of Douglas Gardner, with additional support from The Producers’ Circle.
The Producers’ Circle: Gail & Mark Appel, John & Claudine Bailey, Inger Bartlett & Marshal Stearns, Gail Drummond & Bob Dorrance, The Thor E. and Nicole Eaton Family Charitable Foundation, Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, Kevin & Roger Garland, Ira Gluskin & Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, The William & Nona Heaslip Foundation, Anna McCowan-Johnson & Donald K. Johnson, O.C., Judy Korthals & Peter Irwin, Judith & Robert Lawrie, Mona & Harvey Levenstein, Jerry & Joan Lozinski, The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C., Julie Medland, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Lynda & Jonas Prince, Susan Scace & Arthur Scace, C.M., Q.C., Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan and Noreen Taylor, C.M. & David Staines, C.M., O.Ont.
The Second Detail
Costume, Set and Lighting Design:
The Second Detail is a gift from The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada.
The National Ballet invites you to attend the Ballet Talk 45 minutes before every show in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
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