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William Forsythe is one of the most internationally renowned contemporary choreographers of the late 20th century. He was born in New York City, and studied dance at Jacksonville University, Florida, and at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York.
Forsythe happily admits dancing to rock and roll music when he was a teenager growing up in the 1960s. However, his formal dance career began in 1973, when he joined Germany's Stuttgart Ballet. His first choreography, Urlicht (1976), was a duet performed to the music of Gustav Mahler. A prolific worker, Forsythe created over twenty ballets in the next seven years for the Stuttgart Ballet and other well-known companies.
In 1984, he took over as director of Frankfurt Ballet, a position he held until 2004. In those twenty years, Forsythe developed highly original post-modern works that critics have commonly described as “deconstructions” of traditional ballet techniques. Dancing his choreography is known to be immensely demanding, requiring extreme flexibility and strength.
Based in Frankfurt, Forsythe established The Forsythe Company to showcase his most complex and theatrical pieces. His works are also found in the repertoires of many internationally recognized companies, including the National Ballet of Canada. Some of his key works include Artifact (1984), The Loss of Small Detail (1991) and Kammer/Kammer (2000).