Why we #CelebrateForsythe

This fall, the University of Southern California’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, The Music Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art came together for Fall for Forsythe, a monthlong celebration of acclaimed American choreographer William Forsythe.

The events all culminate in Celebrate Forsythe at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion October 21-23, 2016, featuring three major U.S. ballet companies – Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, all hand-picked by Forsythe.

So why do we #CelebrateForsythe?


A dancer, choreographer, designer, visual artist, filmmaker and all-around creative genius, William Fosythe reimagined ballet for a modern audience and has been an active choreographer for over 45 years.

In 1987, he created In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated for The Paris Opera Ballet – “the work that changed ballet for ever”.

His pieces continue to be performed worldwide by most every major ballet company in the world, including the Mariinsky Ballet, New York City Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Semperoper Ballet Dresden, England’s Royal Ballet and The Paris Opera Ballet.

Raised in New York and trained in Florida, he began a 20-year tenure as director of Ballet Frankfurt in 1984, where he created works such as Artifact (1984), Impressing the Czar (1988), Limb’s Theorem (1990), The Loss of Small Detail (1991), A L I E / N A(C)TION (1992), Eidos:Telos (1995), Endless House (1999), Kammer/Kammer (2000), and Decreation (2003).

From 2005-2015, he established and directed The Forsythe Company, producing works including Three Atmospheric Studies (2005), You made me a monster (2005), Human Writes (2005), Heterotopia (2006), The Defenders (2007), Yes we can’t (2008/2010), I don’t believe in outer space (2008), The Returns (2009) and Sider (2011).

Forsythe is currently the Professor of Dance and Artistic Advisor for the Choreographic Institute at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Additionally, he is an Honorary Fellow at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in London and holds an Honorary Doctorate from The Juilliard School in New York.

“As a visionary choreographer, William Forsythe is often recognized as one of the great  innovators in dance, integrating ballet and the visual arts in ways unprecedented since the era of the Ballet Russe.”
Rachel Moore, President & CEO of The Music Center

“What Mr. Forsythe did [in 1987] was radical: He moved ballet into new, utterly contemporary terrain.” – The New York Times

“He is the only choreographer who has ever been mentioned in the same sentence as the philosopher Michel Foucault, applying a similar critical intelligence to the nature of dance and its language, asking people not just to watch dance, but to analyse what they are watching and understand how dancers themselves think, how steps are forged, how spaces, shapes and scores are created.”
– The Guardian, Elevated visions: how William Forsythe changed the face of dance

For more information about William Forsythe, visit USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance’s faculty page.

For tickets to Celebrate Forsythe, visit our website at musiccenter.org/forsythe.