As an American working internationally for the last thirty years, William Forsythe is recognized as one of the world’s foremost choreographers. His work is celebrated for reorienting the practice of ballet from its identification with classical repertoire into a dynamic 21st-century art form.
Raised and principally trained in New York, Forsythe arrived on the European dance scene in his early 20s as a dancer and eventually as Resident Choreographer of the Stuttgart Ballet. At the same time, he also created new works for ballet companies in Munich, The Hague, London, Basel, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Paris, New York, and San Francisco. In 1984, he began a 20-year tenure as Director of the Frankfurt Ballet, where he created many of the most celebrated dance theater works of our time, such as The Loss of Small Detail (1991), in collaboration with composer Thom Willems and designer Issey Miyake. Other key works from the Frankfurt Ballet years include Gänge (1982), Artifact (1984), Impressing the Czar (1988), Limb’s Theorem (1990), A L I E/N A(C)TION (1992), Eidos:Telos (1995), Endless House (1999) and Kammer/Kammer (2000). Forsythe’s choreography and his companies’ performances have won overwhelming audience acclaim and the most prestigious awards the field has to offer, such as the Bessie (1988, 1998, 2004), Laurence Olivier Award (1992, 1999), Commandeur des Arts et Lettres (1999), the German Distinguished Service Cross (1997) and the Wexner Prize (2002). He has been chosen as Choreographer of the Year several times by the international critics’ survey.
After the closure of the Frankfurt Ballet in 2004, Forsythe established a new, more independent ensemble—The Forsythe Company—founded with the support of the states of Saxony and Hesse, the cities of Dresden and Frankfurt am Main, and private sponsors. Forsythe’s most recent creations are developed and performed exclusively by the new company while his previous work is prominently featured in the repertoire of virtually every major ballet company in the world. Forsythe’s choreographic thinking has engaged with and contributed to the most significant international artistic currents of our time, from performance and visual arts to architecture and interactive multimedia.