Royal Ballet Flanders: Further inside the mind of William Forsythe

Posted: April 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Performance | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Royal Ballet Flanders: Further inside the mind of William Forsythe

After publishing my review of William Forsythe’s Artifact (Inside the mind of William Forsythe, April 22), I got an email from Kathryn Bennetts with a comment about the curtain in Part 2. I had suggested that the curtain made too much noise, and that surely Forsythe would have wanted something less clumsy that did not detract from the music. Bennetts said she had received messages from people who had seen the original production, who complained the curtain did not come down loudly enough. Could this have been simply because the curtain in 1984 was controlled manually, or because Forsythe the enfant terrible was deliberately flouting theatrical convention (as he does elsewhere during the evening) to keep his audience off guard? If the latter, it reveals a deep seam of wit and conceit throughout the work. Interestingly, Clement Crisp loses patience with precisely this kind of conceit in his review of Artifact for the Financial Times (

Perhaps we should be careful not to take William Forsythe too seriously after all. Going back to that photographic portrait of him in the Sadler’s Wells program, isn’t there on that intelligent face the smile of a court jester?