William Forsythe Répertoire
Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon


For more than twenty years, William Forsythe has been transmitting his pieces to the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon dancers, several of which now form part of its repertory. Thus, it is only natural that Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon should be associated to the William Forsythe portrait programmed by the Festival d’Automne à Paris, and present several of the choreographer’s works.
Enemy in the figure, the second part of the Limb’s Theorem (1990) ballet plunges us into the art of William Forsythe. The piece sees the dancers emerging from the night, and being confronted with an environment cluttered up with obstacles. The lighting hides or reveals to us these objects, alternately, by projecting their shadows onto a wooden panel positioned in the middle of the stage.
One Flat Thing, reproduced (2000) has a very different stage set: twenty tables propelled onto the stage, forming the dance surface and horizon for the fourteen dancers. The piece has an underlying tension to it, all pent-up, but ready to flare at any time. Thom Willem’s score provides an explosive musical backdrop.
In Workwithinwork, fifteen dancers construct an intensely fluid piece of dance, echoing computer-generated drawings projected on video. Set to Luciano Berio’s Duette per due violini, they trace out circles and lines, weaving in and out of each other and continuously generating new figures.
Steptext, set to Bach’s Suite for Solo Violin, sways back and forth, and took audiences by surprise with the brute force of its writing when it was first presented in 1985 by the Aterballetto, in Reggio Emilia (Italy). Here the piece is presented as a condensed version of Artifact, a landmark piece in the choreographer’s work and which seeks to recompose the vocabulary of classical ballet in the light of structuralism.
In celebration of this programme, Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon is also giving audiences the chance to see Sarabande by Benjamin Millepied, set to extracts from Johann Sebastian-Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, and Maguy Marin’s Grosse Fugue.