09. 04. 2014

+++Last weekend we celebrated the Austrian premiere of The Forsythe Company's Yes we can’t. See all the photos from the performance at Halle E and from the after party at our studios here...

Photos: eSeL.at

01. 04. 2014

We talked to Esther Balfe, guest dancer in Yes we can't on April 4 + 5 at Tanzquartier Wien / Halle E.
The former Forsythe Company dancer, performer and teacher shares her insight on William Forsythe,
one of the world’s foremost choreographers:

Esther Balfe, Ander Zabala in Yes we can’t, Photo: Dominik Mentzos

How would you describe the work of William Forsythe or the performances by his company to someone who has not seen it before?

Perhaps when going to see a creation of William Forsythe, it is not only a show, it’s an experience as soon as you enter the space. Whether it is the traditional theatre setting for Second Detail or the more contemporary use of space such as Heterotopia or the dark confined space of Angoloscuro, you are most definitely entering a world of new landscape with a new set of rules or language. Dance as we understand it takes on new form and very particular to the Forsythe Dancer is the language in which they are engaged is inscribed on the dancers body as though ingrained in their DNA. You will leave knowing that your perception of Dance has been challenged.

f.l.t.r.: Boston Ballet in The Second Detail, Photo: Dave Morgan. The Forsythe Company in Heterotopia and Angoloscuro, Photos: Dominik Mentzos

What’s the intention of this work also referring to Samuel Beckett’s quote 'Try again. Fail again. Fail better'? How did William Forsythe start making the work?

In the beginning of the working process we were very much engaged with the idea of the unsustainable act, whether portrayed in an activity or purely manifesting an indeterminable movement. We tried to explore the realm of movement where one should not go. Hence the term 'Unsustainables' which then became the start or point of departure in which to investigate. We were infact putting ourselves in a predicament where we didn’t know the outcome. The work was very tiring and took the body to its limit causing other tensions through ones physical being. I think the Beckett quote met the work at some point but I don’t know if it was there from the get go? Perhaps it was there from the beginning for W.F. In my mind it was more of a realization that the two worlds should meet. Beckett meets Forsythe. Bill’s work is exactly that - Try again. Fail again. Fail better!

The Forsythe Company in Yes we can’t, Photo: Dominik Mentzos

Does the title refer to Barack Obama as the slogan Yes We Can became very popular in 2008, the same year, the first version of this performance premiered?

I don't believe for a second that Barack Obama’s slogan had anything to do with the work. As I recall the election slogans were thrown about after Bill announced the title of the work. Coincidence or maybe Mr Obama caught wind of it! But seriously, to be honest what goes around comes around.

Esther Balfe, Ander Zabala in Yes we can’t, Photo: Dominik Mentzos