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Flashback, 3-17: EXTRA! FORSYTHE TO STEP DOWN
A Letter from William Forsythe
(Editor's Note: To
celebrate its fifth anniversary of being online, the Dance Insider
is revisiting its Flash
Review Archives. In July 2001, less than two years after
going online, the Dance Insider opened its European Bureau in Paris,
with editor and publisher Paul Ben-Itzak personally establishing
the operation; today the DI is the leading English-language publication
reporting on dance in Europe, as well as in and for the United States.
This Flash originally appeared on August 27, 2002.)
Note: The following was received from the Ballett Frankfurt as we
were going to press. No further details were available at presstime.
For background on this story, please click
27 August, 2002
Dear Friends, Respected
Colleagues, Persons and Governors of the City of Frankfurt,
In light of recent developments,
I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude
for the encouragement I have received in every imaginable kind of
gesture from here at home and every part of the world.
For the last 18 years,
the City of Frankfurt has provided unwavering and generous support
for the development of Ballett Frankfurt. I have gladly served as
a cultural ambassador, attempting to demonstrate world-wide what
this city's deep commitment to the performing arts could accomplish.
This commitment of the City of Frankfurt has enabled the evolution
of my thought-work to a degree which would have been have difficult
or even impossible to realize in a majority of metropolitan cultures
in the world.
Over the course of the
last several years, I have experienced a shift in my perception
of the field in which I am operating. This has engendered a very
specific professional intention which lacks adequate identity with
my current position as director of a large municipal institution.
As an artist I feel it would be inconsistent to pursue this personal
and particular telos in such a setting, over a longer period of
The practice of introducing
methods which delineate perceptual rules and boundaries is central
to the domain of artistic practice. For the present, I feel strongly
that my own methodological evolution would be best served if conducted
in a context less integrated into a field of political practice
that is, understandably, challenged by the task of establishing
primary descriptive models of cultural policy that can be accurately
represented by numbers. It is extremely difficult, perhaps impossible,
to objectively translate or reduce intrinsic, multiple values as
are typically embedded in art, into interest-maximizing numbers
that explicate it's relevance in political models of cultural well-being.
Simply said, I wish to pursue a more independent organizational
path. I must admit however, it is difficult to leave a body of work,
my life's work, behind.
I especially wish to
extend to the citizens of Frankfurt my deepest and most heartfelt
gratitude for their enduring and intense devotion to the long-term
constructive development of that extraordinary entity, the audience
of the Ballett Frankfurt. The work is first and foremost conceived
for you who have determined the direction of this institution's
artistic goals. I thank you for your exceptional rigor and sensibility.
With greatest respect,
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