I Don’t believe in Outer Space was William Forsythe’s recent dance piece brought to Sadller’s Wells in London in the end of February. The North American artist is known for his career of twenty years  (1984-2004) in the Frankfurt Ballet, where he established what could be called his (unique) choreographic language. Today Forsythe has his own dance company based in Frankfurt – The Forsythe Company – where he has been developing his artistic and choreographic practices.

Most of the post graduates from the DFT witnessed this exceptional dance performance of 1 hour and 20 minutes on the 22nd or 23rd of February. One week after the performance the community of researchers was engaged in a Choreographic Forum, organized by the Society for Dance Research and curated by two DFT researchers: Efrosini Protopapa and Lise Uytterhoeven. The Forum was kindly hosted by The Place on the evening of the  2nd of March which received as guests speakers Dr. Helena Hammond, Lecturer from the DFT and Tamara Tomic-Vajagic from Roehampton University.
After an introduction from a social-historical point of view presented by Hammond and a body perspective given by Tomic-Vajagic, all of the present researchers were invited to compose smaller groups according to each one’s subject of interest.

In the discussion group that I joined we shifted between different topics such as Forsythe’s uses of Rudolf Laban’s movement principles as a guide and foundation to his choreographic language; Forsythe not as a simple choreographer, but as an institution; his uses of contemporary popular culture as a choreographic motif; the presence of a dramaturg in Forsythe’s choreographic process; and his generosity as an artist – as he reveals his creative process on the public conversations he offers before his company’s performances.

The evening ended with a positive engagement between  DFT’s Lecturers, Postgraduate Researchers and the community of Dance Researchers based in UK,  having an opportunity to exchange and debate different views on Forsythe’s choreographic practice.

*Dance Film and Theatre Department of the University of Surrey
**Society for Dance Research

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