NDT 1 | William Forsythe - Woven State
William Forsythe (US) has galvanized the dance world with his brilliantly innovative thinking, catapulting him into the international spotlight with his dynamic approach to the art form.
As a creator, Forsythe encapsulates a command of space and a masterful grasp on the history and development of ballet and dance that characterize each work he creates: “If dance only does what we assume it can do, it will expire. I keep trying to test the limits of what the word choreography means." Woven State marks the renewal of a relationship with Forsythe in an evening that includes: the return of Of Any if And, last performed by NDT in 2005, N.N.N.N. (2002), and One Flat Thing, reproduced (2000). The evening is accompanied by music composed by Forsythe’s longtime collaborator Thom Willems.
In the quartet N.N.N.N. from 2002, the sound comes directly from the dancers' bodies that are in constant connection to one another. All four dancers invest in a rhythmic play that enlivens the composition and together carry the responsibility to sustain the musical score. N.N.N.N. is a superb example of Forsythe’s iconic style, using craft and imagination to explore the limits of dance by allowing the body to interpret space with sophistication and curiosity.
Of Any If And, originally created in 1995, was first performed by NDT in 2005. The intimate and virtuoso duet pushes the relationship between two performers who are guided by a series of enigmatic words uttered by two actors from the rear of the stage. The same words are intermittently projected on the black background of various screens. The duet embodies a seriousness of purpose, a forensic intensity in the performers’ bid to engage with classical technique while deconstructing its usual framework.
For its astounding rigor and its image of dancers moving amid straight lines of tables, One Flat Thing, reproduced from 2000 is true to Forsythe's theme of contrasting order and disorder. The work is set up as a form of counterpoint that is created through the interaction of its three systems of organization: movement material, cueing, and alignments. The dancers are hemmed in by the maze of tables, but the maze is also the playground in which they break loose. Games are played, and a domino effect is paramount as one dancer sets another into motion and one table bangs into another and the encounters grow increasingly dramatic.