Celebrate Forsythe | Meet the Companies

As part of Celebrate Forsythe, three major U.S. ballet companies –  San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Houston Ballet – will all perform on The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage. This distinctive program is devoted entirely to the work of acclaimed American choreographer, William Forsythe, who hand-picked the three companies.

Find out more about each of them and the piece they will be performing at The Music Center October 21-23, 2016 below.


Performing PAS/PARTS 2016

San Francisco Ballet, the oldest professional ballet company in America, has emerged as a globally renowned arts organization since its founding in 1933. Headed by brothers Willam, Lew and Harold Christensen from the late 1930s through the ’70s, it made its mark by staging the first full-length American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker in the early 1940s.

In recent years, the Company’s touring programs have become increasingly ambitious, with engagements in Washington, D.C.; Moscow; Paris; London; Hamburg; Beijing and Reykjavík, Iceland. In October 2013, they performed at Lincoln Center in New York, where The New York Times declared San Francisco Ballet “a national treasure.”

“…dense in detail, yet airy in effect, classical in its language, pointe work and épaulement, yet resolutely contemporary in its sensibility and exploratory in the Forsythe manner.”
SF Gate: ‘Forsythe’s Pas/Parts sets an elegant tone for SF Ballet’


Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB), one of the largest and most highly regarded ballet companies in the United States, was founded in 1972. The Company of 47 dancers presents more than 100 performances each year of full-length and mixed repertory ballets at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in Seattle and on tour. They have performed in Europe, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada and throughout the United States with celebrated appearances at Jacob’s Pillow, in New York City and in Washington, D.C.

The six Forsythe ballets in PNB’s repertory include Artifact II, In the middle, somewhat elevated, New Suite, One Flat Thing, reproducedUrlicht and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude.

“A high-speed bonbon made of kicks, spins and flying leaps…”
-The Seattle Times: ‘Dancemaker William Forsythe gives PNB audiences a ‘Thrill’


On February 17, 1969, a troupe of 15 young dancers made its stage debut at Sam Houston State Teacher’s College in Huntsville, Texas. Since that time, Houston Ballet has evolved into a company of 59 dancers with a state-of-the-art performance space build especially for the company, the Wortham Theater Center. The company has also emerged as a leader in the expensive, labor-intensive task of nurturing the creation and development of new full-length narrative ballets.

Houston Ballet has toured extensively both nationally and internationally. Over the past 15 years, the company has appeared in London at Sadler’s Wells; at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia; in six cities in Spain; in Montréal and Ottawa; at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; in New York at City Center and The Joyce Theater; at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris; and in cities large and small across the United States.

“[Artifact Suite] is a deeply emotional, highly architectural work that exploits the talents of each and every dancer in an extreme manner.”
Culture Map Houston: ‘Houston Ballet opens 47th season with stunning American Ingenuity’

For more information about the program and to buy tickets, visit our website at musiccenter.org/forsythe