Accessibility links

|

Sign In
Basket
Basket

William Forsythe

Choreographer

Biography

American choreographer William Forsythe is a leading figure in contemporary ballet. His works in the repertory of The Royal Ballet include The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Herman Schmerman, Steptext and Firstext.

Forsythe was born in New York and trained in Florida with Nolan Dingman and Christa Long. He danced with Joffrey Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet, where he was appointed resident choreographer in 1976. In 1984 he began a 20-year tenure with Ballet Frankfurt, his works for the company including Artifact, The Loss of Small Detail and Decreation. In 2004 he founded the Forsythe Company, which he directed 2005–15. Works created for the ensemble include Three Atmospheric Studies, Heterotopia, Yes we can’t and Sider. His works are in the repertories of such companies as the Mariinsky, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Canada and Semperoper Ballet, Dresden. His extensive work in installation and film (termed ‘Choreographic Objects’) has been presented in galleries and museums including the Louvre, the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Tate Modern, Hayward Gallery, MoMA, ICA Boston and the Venice Biennale.

Forsythe’s many awards include numerous New York Dance ‘Bessie’ Awards and Olivier Awards. He was appointed Commandeur des Arts et Lettres in 1999. He is a current Professor of Dance and Artistic Advisor for the Choreographic Institute at the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.

News and features

Six of the best: Ballets by William Forsythe

16 May 2017
Six of the best: Ballets by William Forsythe

The choreographer has brought a fiercely contemporary edge to an art form often defined by tradition.

Listen: Crystal Pite on why dance is a universal language

27 April 2017
Listen: Crystal Pite on why dance is a universal language

The award-winning choreographer talks about the influence of William Forsythe and the power of her art form.

What makes a good dance score?

11 April 2017
What makes a good dance score?

Graceful Tchaikovsky, vivacious Stravinsky, angular minimalist music - or something else? We explore what makes the best music for ballet and beyond.