Focusing on Forsythe

July 15, 2008

Surprisingly, it seems, we’ve already passed the halfway mark in the summer program and we’re already working on completing our fourth week at San Francisco Ballet. Students are still working hard and having a lot of fun. In the past week most of us have experienced the “Meet the Artist” lecture and the water park trip, memories that we’ll take back home with us. But perhaps the most valuable part of our stay here that we’ll remember is taking part in the Forsythe workshop.   

William Forsythe is an amazing choreographer who has created a style of dancing that is exciting, beautiful, and inspirational. Amy Raymond is a second year teacher at the summer intensive who is teaching us both the style and choreography. For most of us, classical ballet is the only form that we partake in, making Forsythe a definite challenge. We’ve expanded our knowledge of dance and have gone outside of the box. We’ve learned improv, isolation and choreographing our own sequences. I’m not one to improv and it seems I’ve been pushed outside of the box. Luckily everyone is so inviting and passes no judgment that before long even I was able to improv and take risk with ease. Or at least with more ease than I am used to, haha.  

This week we focused on taking Forsythe choreography from “Enemy in the Figure” and creating our own sequences. By rearranging steps, changing levels and directions, creating different musical accents and even adding in our own steps, everyone in the class was able to create their own choreography. I definitely found it the most inspiring and fun class that we’ve had all summer. It showed me at least that everyone has a choreographer in them. Last year as a trainee at San Francisco Ballet I didn’t partake in the optional choreography workshop, but this year I might just change my mind. As Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” The essence of this quote is something I feel that I have taken from this workshop. I’ve been able to learn Forsythe technique and choreography while also learning to expand my talents and experience new territories.  

We’ll see what happens next week.