The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude

Choreography : William Forsythe
Music : Franz Schubert

Created in Janurary 20, 1996 for the Frankfurt Ballet
Premiered by the CCN - Ballet de Lorraine March 9, 2010 at the Manège de Reims

Choreography : William Forsythe
Music : Franz Schubert - Symphonie n°9 in C Major
Sets, lighting : William Forsythe

Costumes : Stephen Galloway
Staged by : Andrea Tallis
Rehearsal director : Isabelle Bourgeais


Set to the final movement of Schubert’s 9th Symphony, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude uses the entire arsenal of classical ballet repertoire: the tutu, pointe shoes, virtuosity and lyricism, and a friendly relationship between dancers of the opposite sex.
This pas de cinq is an astounding demonstration of pure classical technique as used by Forsythe as a starting point for choreographic possibility – distilled to its most brilliant and flawless form.
It is an affectionate homage to both Petipa and Balanchine, in its codes, its compositional structures (solos inserted amid various pas de deux, pas de trois and ensemble work), its precise, striking allegro work. The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude is also a clear celebration of the dancer and his or her ability to transform technical difficulty into mastery, the incarnation of a tradition in dance.

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.