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 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2001 12:21 am 
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Ismene Brown reviews in The Telegraph<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>YOU could smell the fear in the theatre foyer - the fear of being hopelessly confused. High-strung voices chattered brittly about William Forsythe being the "iconoclast of ballet", others excused their ignorance of modern dance. Determined intellectuals silently buried their heads in the unhelpful programme notes: "Artifact - a ballet in 4 parts, choreography, stage, lighting and costumes William Forsythe".<BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=005760794236107&rtmo=LSLKdbid&atmo=rrrrrrrq&pg=/et/01/11/5/btib05.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><P>And Debra Craine in The Times<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The great aspects of Ballett Frankfurt fail to outweigh the bad <BR> <BR>In this country we know the American William Forsythe through his one-act ballets, those pure dance works that have taken the classical form to sexy new heights of abstract virtuosity. But for his own company, Ballett Frankfurt, which he has run for the past 17 years, Forsythe has focused on a more elaborate theatrical context for his choreography. And it’s this side of him we see in his company’s current visit to London. The two evening-length ballets the Germans have brought to Sadler’s Wells show how full-blown Forsythe’s theatrical ambitions can be. <BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-2001382574,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><p>[This message has been edited by Joanne (edited November 05, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2001 12:33 am 
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Clement Crisp in The Financial Times<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>As the curtain rose at Sadler's Wells on Saturday night at the opening of the Frankfurt Ballet's short season - and what merry soul decided that a Saturday premiere was anything other than a blight on a weekend? - I recalled that I had sat through William Forsythe's Artifact twice before. (It is rather like allowing a demonic dentist to have repeated goes at the same tooth). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=011106001159&query=ballet" TARGET=_blank> <B> <BR>MORE</B> </A><P>And in The Independent<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>"Welcome to what you think you see." That greeting is uttered by the Person in Historical Costume in William Forsythe's Artifact, opening the short London season of his Ballett Frankfurt company. She adds the proviso "... I think", but – taking her at her word – I'll tell you what I think I saw.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/dance/reviews/story.jsp?story=103335" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><P>And in The Guardian<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Until now, London had only witnessed William Forsythe's ongoing argument with classical ballet through his repertoire of fiercely condensed short ballets. But when Forsythe came to Frankfurt in 1984, he staged what was to be the first of several full-length encounters with the conventions of his artform. Artifact, given its English premiere on Saturday, is a two-hour piece whose four sections, mimicking the four acts of the 19th-century ballet, enclose a combative time warp in which the history and future of ballet, its trivia and its genius, clash onstage. <BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/reviews/story/0,3604,587694,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Joanne (edited November 06, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2001 12:04 am 
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Many thanks jcwc2 for your intriguing review. It's a novel treat to see large-scale avant-garde performance art in the UK. Particularly when there is so much visual interest. The avant-garde can be hard work, but I find Frankfurt very entertaining. <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited November 09, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2001 4:27 am 
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First of the reviews of Eidos:Telos:<P><B>An abstract fear of dying<P>Ballett Frankfurt: Eidos:Telos<BR>by Luke Jennings<BR>The Evening Standard</B><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Eidos (the image) and Telos (the goal, or death) are two of the founding concepts of metaphysics, and the choreographer William Forsythe employs them to define this evening-length work. Other elements of Eidos and Telos include mathematical algorithms and the Greek fertility myths of Persephone and Arachne. Confused? Perhaps I should remind you that Forsythe is the man who once stated that "movement is a factor of the fact that you are actually evaporating". <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/hottx/theatre/dance_review.html?in_review_id=469870&in_review_text_id=427331" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2001 6:01 am 
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This review by Luciana Brett was posted elsewhere in the forum:

BALLETT FRANKFURT, "Artifact"
Sadler’s Wells, 3 – 5 November 2001

LUCIANA BRETT:

In semi-darkness they appear, some briefly highlighted by isolated beams across the stage. One is seized by their beauty. The dancers’ movements are simple but their intensity is enthralling.

William Forsythe’s corps de ballet will leave you breathless. All thirty-two dancers dominate the stage with a bewildering dynamism. Pushing their technical ability to the extreme they execute the classical ballet vocabulary without apology. A traditional tondu exercise becomes a vision of power and gusto as men and women dancers, lined up down the sides of the stage, brush their lean-muscled legs back and forth; their arms slice through a port de bras, not with delicacy or lightness but fierce rapidity, punctuating the air in mid-circle.

Artifact, Forsythe’s four-act ballet of 1984, performed for the first time in Britain, is a work charged with magnificent images. Forsythe is responsible for almost everything; choreography, lighting, costume, design and much of the music. But it’s the sheer brilliance of his dancers which knocks you sideways. There seems to be nothing these bodies can’t do. At times they look almost unreal. In the third section a group of dancers take on Forsythe’s familiar, disconnected movement style. Joints look detached from their sockets. Bones appear loose; the mechanics of the entire skeleton display every move.

What makes Artifact such an original and inventive piece of theatre is the simple yet complex way in which Forsythe plays with the elements. Even the title suggests something carefully put together, hand-made, and this thinking extends beyond the stage into the auditorium. As the audience fill their seats and with the house lights still up, a dancer, painted a pale white from head to toe, has already started the performance. In part two, the curtain falls suddenly in the middle of a quartet with the music in mid flow. When it rises again the quartet has become a duet and the corps have lined themselves along the back wall. The process is repeated, each time revealing a new configuration.

Another aspect of the complexity of the work is the presence of two speaking narrators. A woman dressed in a corset and wig and an older man in glasses holding a loud speaker, wander between the unaffected dancers. Although conjuring up extra moments of drama, either muttering or baffling us with their tongue-twisting monologues, the meaning of their roles remains hard to fathom .

The enigmatic woman, however, has the last word. " Step outside!" she shouts, one clap of her hands and the lights go out.

<small>[ 31 May 2004, 03:38 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2001 6:13 am 
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<B>Judith Mackrell<BR>Guardian</B><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Ballet operates inside a struggle for perfection. It tries to subdue the unruly bodies of dancers within the tailoring of classical steps, to suspend time in the rhythms of its own choreography, and to impose its symmetries on a messy world. The fact that it always falls short of its own ideals can be a source of the most poignant beauty. For William Forsythe, though, the tension between perfection and failure screams to be written large. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4296270,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2001 12:37 am 
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Review in the Sunday Times of Artifact<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>There are three ghosts in the carefully calibrated machine of William Forsythe's ballet Artifact. They drift through the tight, flashing patterns made by the other dancers (30 of them from Forsythe's Ballett Frankfurt, plus a couple borrowed locally), trying to decide where they are, and why. One of them, the so-called Person in Historical Costume (Prue Lang), could be the old girl from Beckett's Rockaby, given a wash, a ball gown and a handful of uppers, but no more to say. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2001/11/11/sticuldnc02001.html?" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><P>And Jan Parry in The Observer<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>William Forsythe attracts artists and intellectuals to his company's performances in the way that Merce Cunningham does. Non-dance lovers are intrigued by a process that takes an art form to the point where it becomes something else. To appreciate the new experience does not require an insider's knowledge: you can come with a fresh, inquiring eye, like looking at the boundary-breaking work of the Turner Prize contenders. <P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.observer.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,591191,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><p>[This message has been edited by Joanne (edited November 11, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2001 9:48 am 
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I've moved this review of 'Eidos: Telos' by Luciana Brett from another thread:

*********************************

BALLETT FRANKFURT SADLERS WELLS, 8 – 10 NOVEMBER, "Eidos-Telos"

William Forsythe’s Eidos:Telos leaves audiences overwhelmed with its extraordinary sense of mystery, madness and chilling beauty. This work literally stirs your whole physical being.

Above all, it is the middle section which casts such a spell. Here, any detached way of viewing theatre is demolished and instead our engagement is dramatic, the tension unforgiving.

Part two begins with an emotional and desperate monologue by the exceptional performer, Dana Caspersen. She is topless, a long, layered skirt covering her lower half. The set around her is complex: a suspended television, an enormous stage light hanging just off the ground, taunt slanting strings running from one end to the other, and a lighting design which changes your whole perspective of the stage space.

Forsythe’s combination of text, design and performance conjures up a frighteningly eerie atmosphere. Caspersen’s solo at times becomes quite horrific to watch. She looks inhuman as she screams, convolutes, undulates on the floor like a possessed animal. Utterly spellbinding, she’ll seize even the coldest heart.

Later, the rest of the company enter, waltzing through her space with grace and fluidity. But with Forsythe’s ability to take us places we’ve never been before, this light, breezy dance turns dark as the dancers rant about their violent and psychotic fantasies.

The first and third parts are more like Forsythe as we know him. The stage is stark. The dancers, in their usual manner move through the space as if on their own journey, keeping us at an emotional distance. We watch their bodies fall, twist and distort themselves like puppets with strings on every joint. But, then, just when you think that nothing will equal the power of the middle section, those feelings in the pit of your stomach begin to creep back. As the company swarm the stage and a trio of trumpeters ignite the auditorium with bursts of wild, incoherent sounds, the piece erupts in a final turmoil that allows no room for relief.

<small>[ 31 May 2004, 03:38 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2001 2:50 pm 
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This review was posted by <B>jcwc2</B> in another thread:<P>****************************<P><BR><B>“I’d Love to See a Dance”</B><P>Ballett Frankfurt: Edios: Telos (Sadler’s Wells, 8-10 November 2001)<P>What is a dance without music? Why see a dance but not a play? What don’t you go to a concert instead? In Edios (Gr. plan): Telos (Gr. purpose), William Forysthe considers “dance” as an Aristotelian “productive” discipline and explores with us its inception and its boundaries, when actualized. <P>No music; only sounds created by trombones. How can movement be initiated? <P>By a dancer touching a thigh, clapping his hands, tapping his foot. <P>By a dancer breathing, coughing or sighing.<P>By a dancer dragging her neighbor across the floor.<P>By a dancer hitting a musical string. <P>By dancers counting or making a sound together, or by them plucking the two strings on stage. <P>No matter how movements are initiated, despite the fact that there are no clocks, timer, metronome, violins or text, in Part III, the dancers move rhythmically, with absolute accuracy. The concept of time exists among the dancers and is not imposed by any external forces. The dancers are their own choreographers: they decide on how they share their time onstage and with the audience.<P>Even when songs are sung, the trombones are blown off-stage, and the pulsation within the group has been slightly disrupted in Part II, the dancers soon try to listen to each other to resist the external domination. Together they attempt to pluck the two strings to create music out of their own movement. And they succeed. Look, they have re-captured their rhythm; their energy even changes the lighting. <P>In fact, human movement can be so powerful that it reverses the order of time. In Part I, A dancer inserts his body to fill the broken line of the stave.<P>He catches the violinist’s bow while it plays.<P>He fiddles the metronome with his fingers to alter its sways. <P>A crewmember plucks the string on stage. <P>These moves force the timer to count backwards, and even the violinist who has been playing on stage dances.<P>If human movement is so powerful, surely there will be no problems adding extra elements, such as text and music, to it, you may think. But what will dance be like if external forces try to dominate it? <P>Audience see dancers dance in costumes created by Issey Miyake-affiliated designers and they hear melodious music plays. What is experienced is gracefulness and harmony. Yet, it can be destroyed by just a drop of saliva. In Part II, the audience giggle and scratch their heads when they hear dancers swear, negotiate business and order the others to dance in a foreign language. <P>As the trombones louden and their players appear in Part III, dancers push each other, some want to pluck the strings but fail. Finally, they lose their rhythm and scatter apart. Dana Caspersen who delivers monologues in Part II in partial dance costume now throws away its remains. The trombones continue to make noises, and the curtain goes down. <P>“I love the dance because I love the music,” “the dance is great because I like the actress’s speech.” Besides stimulating our senses during the performance, Forsythe leaves us with some thoughts that we can next bring to a “dance”. <P><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2001 11:50 pm 
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Review by Donald Hutera in the Times<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>HOW much do we need to know about a performance before we sit down to watch it? The question is prompted by Eidos: Telos, the second of two full-length dance-theatre pieces which Germany’s Ballett Frankfurt brought to Sadler’s Wells last week. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-2001393775,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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