Physical Thinking

William Forsythe Programme

June 1 – 8, 2019

Physical Thinking

William Forsythe Programme

June 1 – 8, 2019
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About the Ballets

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

Physical Thinking Trailer

The Second Detail Trailer

Piotr Stanczyk on Physical Thinking

Approximate Sonata 2016 Trailer

Physical Thinking View Gallery

Reviews

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

Running Time

  • The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude 12m
  • Pause 2m
  • Approximate Sonata 2016 25m
  • Intermission 25m
  • The Second Detail 25m
  • Total (approx) 90m

Casting

The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude

Jillian Vanstone, Chelsy Meiss, Calley Skalnik
Naoya Ebe, Harrison James
(June 1, 5 at 7:30 pm)

Hannah Galway, Jeannine Haller, Hannah Fischer
Skylar Campbell, Brendan Saye
(June 2 at 2:00 pm/June 7 at 7:30 pm)

Hannah Galway, Tina Pereira, Jordana Daumec
Siphesihle November, Félix Paquet
(June 6 at 7:30 pm)

Jillian Vanstone, Chelsy Meiss, Calley Skalnik
Siphesihle November, Donald Thom
(June 8 at 2:00 pm)

Approximate Sonata 2016

1st & 5th Sonata
Sonia Rodriguez and Spencer Hack (June 1, 5 at 7:30 pm/June 8 at 2:00 pm)
Jenna Savella and Donald Thom (June 2 at 2:00 pm)
Jillian Vanstone and Donald Thom (June 6 at 7:30 pm)
Jenna Savella and Spencer Hack (June 7 at 7:30 pm)

2nd Sonata
Hannah Fischer and Christopher Gerty (June 1, 5 at 7:30 pm)
Xiao Nan Yu and Christopher Gerty (June 2 at 2:00 pm)
Xiao Nan Yu and Brendan Saye (June 6 at 7:30 pm/June 8 at 2:00 pm)
Antonella Martinelli and Brent Parolin (June 7 at 7:30 pm)

3rd Sonata
Svetlana Lunkina and Félix Paquet (June 1, 5 at 7:30 pm/June 8 at 2:00 pm)
Greta Hodgkinson and Kota Sato (June 2 at 2:00 pm/ June 6 at 7:30 pm)
Elena Lobsanova and Ben Rudisin (June 7 at 7:30 pm)

4th Sonata
Tanya Howard and Kota Sato (June 1, 5 at 7:30 pm/June 8 at 2:00 pm)
Chelsy Meiss and Guillaume Côté (June 2 at 2:00 pm/June 7 at 7:30 pm)
Jenna Savella and Trygve Cumpston (June 6 at 7:30 pm)

The Second Detail

Jordana Daumec or Sonia Rodriguez or Hannah Fischer, Tanya Howard or Stephanie Hutchison or Andreea Olteanu, Rui Huang or Calley Skalnik or Jeannine Haller, Antonella Martinelli or Selene Guerrero-Trujillo or Hannah Galway, Chelsy Meiss or Mallory Mehaffey, Heather Ogden or Kathryn Hosier or Tirion Law, Jenna Savella or Greta Hodgkinson or Jillian Vanstone

Jack Bertinshaw or Brent Parolin, Skylar Campbell or Donald Thom or Spencer Hack, Siphesihle November or Naoya Ebe or Joe Chapman, Ben Rudisin or Harrison James or Guillaume Côté, Kota Sato or Jimmy Coleman or Alexander Skinner, Brendan Saye or Giorgio Galli or Christopher Gerty, Nan Wang or Félix Paquet or Nicholas Rose

Credits

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)

Choreography:
William Forsythe

Staged by:
Kathryn Bennetts

Music:
Franz Schubert, Allegro Vivace from Symphony No. 9 in C-Major, D944

Set and Lighting Design:
William Forsythe

Costume Design:
Stephen Galloway

Approximate Sonata 2016 (Company Premiere)

Choreography:
William Forsythe

Music:
Thom Willems

Set and Lighting Design:
William Forsythe

Costume Design:
Stephen Galloway

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

Choreography:
William Forsythe

Music:
Thom Willems

Costume, Set and Lighting Design:
William Forsythe

White dress:
Issey Miyake

The Second Detail is a gift from The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada.

Running Time

  • The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude 12m
  • Pause 2m
  • Approximate Sonata 2016 25m
  • Intermission 25m
  • The Second Detail 25m
  • Total (approx) 90m

Ballet Talks

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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