chapter  9
11 Pages

Inside the knot that two bodies make: Steven Spier

BySTEVEN SPIER

The film From a Classical Position is a fully collaborative work between a notable dancer and performer and a notable choreographer, being danced, directed, and edited by Dana Caspersen and William Forsythe of the late Ballett Frankfurt. By looking closely at the film, its origins, and its process of creation, we gain an understanding of Caspersen and Forsythe’s way of collaborating and their interest in working with other media and formats. Uncompromising if not difficult for a general dance audience, it is also somewhat didactic and offers us insights into some of the Ballett Frankfurt’s methods of generating movement, choreographic structures, and the importance of classical technique to a distinctive movement vocabulary: ‘[The film] was also a little message to the British, who I’m sure were curious about us. It was a little missile to them, saying yes we are the Ballett Frankfurt, yes we perform before so many seats in the Opera House. We are the same people and this is what we do … There is the obvious classical training and this is how we are dealing with it’ (Forsythe 1999).1