Choreography : William Forsythe
Music : Thom Willems

Duo © Arno Paul

World premiere January 20, 1996 at the Ballett Frankfurt, Städtische Bühnen Francfort
Premiered by the CCN - Ballet de Lorraine May 12, 2015 at the Opéra national de Lorraine

Choreography : William Forsythe
Music : Thom Willems
Scene, lights & costumes : William Forsythe
Transmission : Cyril Baldy
Rehearsal director : Isabelle Bourgeais


For the second time this season, the CCN – Ballet de Lorraine will present a piece by William Forsythe. Entering the company's rep is the major work Duo, which will be accompanied live by the music of Thom Willems, one of the choreographer's principal creative collaborators for many years.

In the small space just in front of the curtain, just at the edge of the stage, is «Duo»,  a clock composed of two dancers. The dancers register time in a spiraling way, make it visible, they think about how it fits into space, they pull time into an intricate, naked pattern and the pattern grows and unfolds as they tumble, shear, strike, reverse. Their bodies brilliant in a shimmer of black, the dancers fly with reckless accuracy, their breath sings of the spaces in time. Distant music appears and vanishes as the dancers follow each other through the whirling, etched quiet. A clock which regards the limitless by returning to where it began.

William Forsythe

Born in 1949 in New York, William Forsythe grew up during the heyday of rock n’ roll and the Broadway musicals he loved. He studied dance at the University of Jacksonville, then at the Joffrey Ballet School.
He was fascinated by the complex, abstract style of Balanchine which an ABT dancer had taught him and thinks that his first pieces are clear imitations of Balanchine’s work.
He had choreographed over 20 works when in 1984 he was named director of the Frankfurt Ballet, the resident company of the Frankfurt Opera. He immediately set himself apart with the creation of Artifact, hijacking all the theatrical codes and revealing his electrifying, hyper-charged style. The company’s reputation spread quickly, notably with the creation of Steptext in 1985. William Forsythe became the sole director of the company in 1999 and remained there until 2005. Since then he has continued as an independent creator, with the Forsythe Company in residence in Frankfurt and Hellerau. He is also artistic director of the Festspielhaus Hellerau, a contemporary arts festival.
At the same time he has had commissions from, among others, the Paris Opera Ballet, the New York City Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, and his pieces are performed by companies around the world.
His choreographic reputation is based at least partly on his infinite capacity to reinvent the language of classical ballet, going far beyond the neoclassical styles espoused by Jiri Kylian and Nacho Duato.