William Forsythe Steptext // Neue Suite // In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated
Semperoper Ballett de Dresde
William Forsythe has forged strong links with Semperoper Ballet since Aaron S. Watkin, a former soloist with the Frankfurt Ballet, took over as Artistic Director in 2006. Indeed, Aaron S. Watkin was put in charge of overseeing the transmission of pieces from the Frankfurt Ballet’s repertory to ballets all over the world, ranging from the Opéra de Paris to the Kirov Ballet in Saint Petersburg and the Dutch National Ballet, Amsterdam. Born in Canada, and trained in classical dance, Aaron S. Watkin was also a dancer in Nacho Duato’s company in Madrid and was appointed Associate Artistic Director to the Victor Ullate Ballet in Madrid. He then went on to assist David Dawson at the Kirov Ballet, and Johan Inger at the Cullberg Ballet.
The program for the Festival d’Automne à Paris William Forsythe portrait comprises three pieces: Steptext and In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, which went on to become part of Impressing the Czar, and figure in the Semperoper Ballet repertory. We then come to Neue Suite, specially conceived by William Forsythe for Semperoper Ballett and yet to be performed in Paris. The piece brings together a series of pas de deux that have left their mark on his work, set to music from Handel, Bach, and Berio, with the addition of extracts from Slingerland and New Sleep. The programme puts into perspective the deconstruction of classical vocabulary, testified to by the energy and fluidity of Steptext, set to the music of Bach, and In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated, which features music by Thom Willems. The sum total is a short, sharp dose of William Forsythe’s unique art.