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The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude

The Royal Ballet
18–31 May 2017
Main Stage

The Royal Ballet revives this thrilling work from modern master William Forsythe, set to music by Schubert, for the first time in nearly fifteen years.

When to see it


Five dancers perform a series of solos and ensembles in a virtuoso display of classical technique, driven by the rhythmic vitality of the final movement of Schubert’s ‘Great’ Ninth Symphony.


William Forsythe created The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude for his company Ballett Frankfurt in 1996, using the final movement of Schubert’s Ninth Symphony. The eleven-minute ballet was quickly recognized as an exemplary work from this modern master of classical ballet, and was taken into the repertories of companies around the world. It was first performed by The Royal Ballet in 1999.

The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude was created as a celebration of the technique and musicality of the five Ballett Frankfurt dancers who created it. It has since gained a reputation as one of the most demanding short ballets in the repertory – Forsythe explains that ‘dancers like a challenge’. As the title suggests, Forsythe exploits the precision and musicality of his dancers to create a work that thrives in its surprising and always satisfying response to the energy of Schubert’s score. Stylish designs from Stephen Galloway complete this celebration of balletic brilliance.

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