Watch the photos

Digital program book ‘Woven State’

Welcome to 'Woven State'

Dear audience,

We are delighted to bring you Woven State, a full-evening program dedicated to the celebrated choreographer William Forsythe, whose innovative voice has galvanized the dance world.

Throughout his career, Forsythe has considered choreography as a way of physical thinking by masterfully grasping the history and development of dance and redefining its potential. Woven State offers a collection of three of Forsythe’s renowned works that exemplify his unique contribution to the art form.

It has been a gift and privilege for us to discover the works in this program that invited us to new ways of thinking and seeded fertile creative ground. Witnessing the development of our artists throughout the process has been an extraordinary experience.

In the quartet N.N.N.N., originally from 2002 but premiering at Amare in a revised version, the sound comes directly from the dancers’ bodies that are in constant connection to one another. The dancers invest in a rhythmic play that enlivens the composition and together carry the responsibility to sustain the musical score. N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N. is a superb example of Forsythe’s iconic style, using craft and imagination to explore the limits of dance by allowing the body to interpret space with sophistication and curiosity.

Of Any If And, originally created in 1995, was first performed by NDT in 2005. The intimate and virtuoso duet pushes the relationship between two performers who are guided by a series of enigmatic words uttered by two actors from the rear of the stage. The same words are intermittently projected on the black background of various screens. The duet embodies a seriousness of purpose, a forensic intensity in the performers’ bid to engage with classical technique while deconstructing its usual framework.

For its astounding rigor and its image of dancers moving amid straight lines of tables, One Flat Thing, reproduced from 2000 is true to Forsythe’s theme of contrasting order and disorder. The work is set up as a form of counterpoint that is created through the interaction of its three systems of organization: movement material, cueing, and alignments. The dancers are hemmed in by the maze of tables, but the maze is also the playground in which they break loose. Games are played, and a domino effect is paramount as one dancer sets another into motion and one table bangs into another and the encounters grow increasingly dramatic.

This evening would not be possible without the generous commitment of many individuals. I would like to extend a very special thanks to Bill for his care and remarkable artistic inspiration, to Thom Willems and all our collaborators for their passion and dedication that moved us through the learning and embodiment of the works, and to our NDT dancers and team for their incredible hard work and curiosity.

Thank you for joining us tonight. It is a pleasure to have you with us!

Emily Molnar
Artistic Director

If dance only does what we assume it can do, it will expire. I keep trying to test the limits of what the word choreography means.

William Forsythe
'N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.'. Dansers: Chuck Jones, Charlie Skuy, Surimu Fukushi, Aram Hasler, Conner Bormann, Theophilus Veselý. Foto (2021): Rahi Rezvani.

N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.

Dancers: Jon Bond, ensemble. Photo (2021): Rahi Rezvani.
Choreography by William Forsythe

STAGED BY
Ander Zabala, Ayman Harper, Cyril Baldy, Amancio Gonzalez

CHOREOGRAPHIC ASSISTANT
Ayman Harper

NDT ASSISTANT
Lucas Crandall

MUSIC
Thom Willems

STAGE, LIGHT AND COSTUME DESIGNS
William Forsythe

WORLD PREMIERE
December 3, 2021, Nederlands Dans Theater, Amare, The Hague

DURATION
20 minutes

Watch the photos in the gallery

Dancer: Conner Bormann. Photo (2021): Rahi Rezvani.

Of Any If And

Dancers: Chloé Albaret, Scott Fowler. Photo (2021): Rahi Rezvani.
ChoreograPHY BY William Forsythe

STAGED BY
Stefanie Arndt, Thomas McManus

NDT ASSISTANT
Tamako Akiyama

MUSIC
Thom Willems

STAGE AND LIGHT DESIGNS
William Forsythe

COSTUME DESIGN
Stephen Galloway

TEXT
Dana Caspersen, William Forsythe

WORLD PREMIERE
May 27, 1995, Ballet Frankfurt, Operahouse Frankfurt, Germany

DURATION
25 minutes

Watch the photos in the gallery

Dancers: Nicole Ishimaru, Luca Tessarini. Photo (2021): Rahi Rezvani.

One Flat Thing, reproduced

ChoreograPHY BY William Forsythe

STAGED BY
Ayman Harper, Ander Zabala, Cyril Baldy, Amancio Gonzalez

NDT ASSISTANT
Emily Molnar

MUSIC
Thom Willems

STAGE AND LIGHT DESIGNS
William Forsythe

COSTUME DESIGN
Stephen Galloway

WORLD PREMIERE
February 2, 2000, Ballet Frankfurt, Bockenheimer Depot, Frankfurt, Germany

DURATION
15 minutes

Watch the photos in the gallery

Choreographer William Forsythe

William Forsythe (1949) has been active in the field of choreography for over 50 years. His three decades of work with his ensembles in Frankfurt exerted significant influence upon generations of artists in a wide array of creative practices.

With an initial focus on the organizational underpinnings of academic ballet Forsythe has, since 1991, extended his choreographic discourse into the field of visual arts. While his work for the stage resides in the repertories of ensembles worldwide, his installations are featured internationally in both museums and private collections. Forsythe has been the recipient of numerous awards which include the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale and Der Faust, both for lifetime achievement.

Composer Thom Willems

Thom Willems’ music is predominately created for ballet. He works since 1985 with the choreographer William Forsythe. Until 2004 with Ballett Frankfurt and from 2005 on with The Forsythe Company. Together they have created over 70 works.

His music in connection with William Forsythe’s work, is featured in the repertoire of virtually every major ballet company in the world including The Mariinsky Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet,  New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Paris Opera Ballet, Teatro alla Scala Milano, Royal Ballet Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, Semper Oper Dresden, Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon and Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) among many others. In total 71 companies in 29 countries.

Nicole on One Flat Thing, Reproduced:

“During the process of One Flat Thing, reproduced we’ve been working with counter points within the material and embodying specific mechanisms used to transmit impulses to one another in the space. With each day comes a new task to indulge, making One Flat Thing, reproduced a truly exciting and playful piece to be researching.

It’s been wonderful to have Ayman, Ander, Cyril, and Amancio who have brought us so much insight and creative energy into the work.”

Luca on Of Any If And:

“I cover up no lie when saying that Of Any If And ranks first place of the most demanding pieces I have had the privilege to dive into throughout my career so far. Be it the fact that this is the first time I am getting in close contact with William Forsythe’s language and approach, just a glimpse into his cosmos I dare to say and or the naked truth of this piece presenting an entire unknown sphere of its own.

Having started the process two months ago by watching a recording of the original cast, Dana Caspersen and Thomas McManus, had my heart skip multiple beats for many reasons. The infinite universe that’s being created by the artists on and off stage, the sheer vulnerability and artistic honesty ‘O-A-I-A’ sustains or simply put, the undeniable challenge that it births through every moment, called me instantly and as an adrenalin junkie myself, I could not wait to see where this beautiful beast was going to take us in the studio and ultimately on stage, too.

The language offered us space and room to evolve day in, day out. It has been the most rewarding gift to set my entire body and mind toward growing from within along with my partner Nicole Ishimaru, a force of nature I hold dear to me.

I look forward immensely to embarking this 23 minute long research Of Any If And on stage. It truly has been and will be one heck of a ride.
I quote Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, stated by Sherlock Holmes to sum up my thoughts: “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

I am forever grateful for the metamorphic journey that Stefanie Arndt and Thomas McManus have taken us on.”

Luca en Nicole (Ishimaru) in 'Of Any If And'. Foto (2021): Rahi Rezvani.

Chuck on N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.:

“This is my first time diving into the world of William Forsythe. I’ve been excited and eager to explore his movement vocabulary and modalities. The process of N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N. has been an unusual and unforgettable adventure. Originally this piece is performed by 4 dancers. In this version for NDT, Forsythe decided to have 12 dancers onstage. Due to this radical change we have had the opportunity to work with him in the studio and onstage via Zoom. His ideas about dance and how it relates to life are beautifully complex yet simple. This entire experience has been a highlight of my career with NDT.”

Chuck (helemaal links) in 'N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.'. Foto (2021): Rahi Rezvani.

Nicole on Of Any If And:

“Working on Of Any if And has really challenged me in ways I have not yet experienced in my career. I have always admired William Forsythe’s work and being in a process as intimate as this one will definitely stay with me for years to come. Dancing this duet is deliciously intense, it transports me into a different state of existing between reality and the land of memory. There is a unique combination of abandonment, precision and risk required in the shaping and describing of the physical language, it demands a lot of agency and trust between Donnie and I, but it’s this attention to intention that keeps us suspended in the present.

It has been such an honour to work with Stefanie Arndt and Thomas McManus, they both have emboldened us to dive in deeper than we thought possible and to really become experts of the Of Any if And world.”

Charlie on One Flat Thing, reproduced:

“It begins!

An orchestrated field of action, dispersing or collecting it’s elements into organized synchrony or interplay. But never disorder. Inside this field of action is a deeply woven net of understanding; the bodies within it are forming and dis-forming as an internally dependent system.

To be a body inside holds a powerful and fleeting responsibility to the rest of the system.  Our action at every moment is aligning with or counterpointing someone else’s.

In other words, dancing in this work makes me feel an immense amount of worth. One Flat Thing, reproduced asks (and allows) us to move within in a system of trust, sensibility, and a larger consciousness.

Because of this, Forsythe’s work reveals an abstracted model that reflects our own systems in society.”

'Of Any If And'. Dansers: Nicole Ward, Donnie Duncan Jr. Foto (2021): Rahi Rezvani.
'N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.N.'. Dansers: Theophilus Veselý, Charlie Skuy, Chuck Jones, Yukino Takaura. Foto (2021): Rahi Rezvani.

Photo gallery

Watch more photos in the gallery