Frankfurt and Forsythe Face off. (News)

By Sulcas, Roslyn | Dance Magazine, September 2002 | Go to article overview

Frankfurt and Forsythe Face off. (News)


Sulcas, Roslyn, Dance Magazine


In a brief email that reverberated around the dance world on May 30, William Forsythe, the acclaimed American choreographer who has headed Ballet Frankfurt since 1984, announced that Frankfurt's city government had decided not to renew his contract and might replace his company with a traditional classical corps. Through a journalist, he had learned that the city council planned to announce these decisions at a press conference the following week. The changes were scheduled for 2004 when Forsythe's current contract as artistic director ends.

"I was told that the conservative councilors from the Christian Democrat and Social Democrat parties, who hold the majority, want traditional story ballets and disapprove of my aesthetic," said Forsythe, who is commonly credited with transforming Ballet Frankfurt from a provincial troupe into a world-renowned company. "The city is in the middle of a financial crisis and they've targeted us, even though the Frankfurt Ballet has the highest income in relation to public subsidy of any cultural institution in Germany." (Currently the company receives an annual subsidy of about $5.7 million, which covers 87 percent of its budget; a somewhat lower percentage than other cultural institutions in Frankfurt. …

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