chapter  2
18 Pages

Of monsters and puppets: William Forsythe’s work after the ‘Robert Scott Complex’: Gerald Siegmund

ByGERALD SIEGMUND

The Bockenheimer Depot is dimly lit. Huge grey felt curtains separate the foyer area from the stage like a permeable wall. The foyer of the old tram depot, which served as an additional performing space for Ballett Frankfurt from 1999 to 2004, is covered in felt, too. Movable cubes in various sizes together with more strips of felt may be individually arranged to form landscapes for seating, lying down, or propping oneself up. On the other side of the threshold the felt interior continues, the stage area an extension of the sculpted space that accommodates audiences and passers-by alike. Sheets of felt are scattered over the stage, which is on the same level as the floor. In its left-hand corner an igloo has been constructed. For a part of the performance it serves as a shelter for the three dancers. Members of Ensemble Modern, a Frankfurt-based orchestra specialising in new music, have taken their seats on the left-hand side of the stage, slightly outside the dancers’ range. They play Opus 1, a string concerto by the Japanese composer Ryoji Ikeda. Its non-linear sound patterns are interspersed with street noises, spoken words, and static crackle that charge the atmosphere. Towards the front of the stage a huge banner is displayed on the floor that declares ‘37 years of futility’ in huge letters. Yet the writing can only be seen clearly from a vantage point above the stage. Its cry for help seems to be directed skywards.