chapter  1
16 Pages

Watching the Ballett Frankfurt, 1988–2009: Roslyn Sulcas


I first saw a ballet by William Forsythe in 1988, when the San Francisco Ballet brought New Sleep, commissioned a year previ ously, on its tour to Paris. I can still remember my sensation of mixed shock and excitement as shiny blackclad dancers with slash ing arms picked their way on pointe along diagonals of light while Thom Willems’s music pounded and wailed. It was certainly ballet. Bravura pas de deux and counterpointed ensemble work flashed before my eyes, but in such a radically new context that I could scarcely believe what I was seeing: ballet without quotation marks around the word, as much a part of the contemporary world as film or architecture or quantum physics.