Magazine article Dance Magazine

The Forsythe Company

Magazine article Dance Magazine

The Forsythe Company

Article excerpt

The Forsythe Company

Sadler's Wells * London, England * February 22-23, 2011

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William Forsythe's work hits shapes, rhythms, and ideas in ways that other choreographer/directors cannot, or for which they don't even aim. I don't believe in outer space is a prime example. Created in 2008 for an ensemble of 18, and lasting about 80 minutes, it's a neo-vaudevillian laugh in the face of death that harbors a surprising poignancy.

It kicks off in a tone of aggressive absurdity. The stage is covered with small black rocks, like some kind of cosmic detritus. (They're actually discarded, balled-up wads of electrician's tape.) Into this vaguely desolate landscape writhes Dana Caspersen, Forsythe's compact, wiry little muse. Delivering a dual monologue, this remarkable irritant keeps shape-shifting between roles as a rabid, gruff-voiced alien new to the neighborhood and a good, clean, and doubtless conservative, suburban housewife unsure of how much welcome to extend the peculiarly monstrous creature at her door.

Soon the rest of the cast is indulging in a cacophony of declamatory rants, the verbal excrescences matched by the restless, incessantly wriggling vocabulary that has lately become Forsythe's trademark. The screaming and shouting grate, while the kooky, jittery humor can feel forced. There's a curious, mimetic game of ping-pong; an hysterically tumbling mutual massage; a visit from a beaming, manic Japanese fitness instructor; and another monologue by a bandaged, squeaky-shoed man. …

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