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Compare and Contrast two choreographers works and choreographic process

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Rosie Deane Compare and Contrast two choreographers works and choreographic process Jiri Kylian and William Forsythe's choreography can be seen to be strongly linked to their roots as performers. It can be seen through their vast amount of repertoire that their beginnings and background has a huge amount of influence on their creations as composers in dance. Jiri Kylian began his dance training when he was nine years of age at the ballet school of the Prague National theatre studying classical ballet, folk dance and the modern technique of Martha Graham this continued as he moved up into the Prague conservatory when reaching the age of fifteen. In 1967 at twenty years of age he joined the royal ballet school with a scholarship, here he studied not only classical ballet but also contemporary dance, which Kylian became very interested in. From this a major choreographer of this time John Cranko offered him a place in the Stuttgart ballet under a dancers contract but directed him into creating his own dance compositions, here Jiri could begin to develop his talent and ambitions as a choreographer. In his earliest years William Forsythe was especially interested in modern dance, rock and musical comedy. Forsythe like Kylian gained a scholarship, he proceeded to join the Joffery Ballet School and the school of American ballet. Whilst his training he was able to take additional classes with a vast amount of teachers allowing him experience different styles influencing his own style. He carried on with his training at the Joffrey Ballet II before he like Jiri Kylian was encouraged by John Cranko to join the Stuttgart Ballet in 1973. Here William Forsythe encountered Jiri Kylian and Pina Bausch and was supported to pursue his choreographic skills. Through seeing both Forsythe's and Jiri's backgrounds we can see in their works how there is distinct similarities and how their previous training has affected their choreography. ...read more.


It was the first time that every dancer of NDT I is individually involved in the creative process. This time there are no group scenes. And if there are any group dances, then they are done in an individual way. The piece has to do with individual expression, with individual freedom. So in a strange sort of way it has become a tribute to individuality and human rights. (Kylian 1998:www.NederlandsDansTheater.com) William Forsythe uses his company in the same way with the dancers not only being performers who merely dance the vocabulary given to them, but are involved within the creative process. "In Gange - ein Stuck uber Ballett, 1993, for example, not all the choreography comes from me. I gave eight combinations of steps. The dancer developed their own variations. The dancing in Gange is from them." (Spier www.Ballet-Frankfurt.com) Both Jiri Kylians and William Forsythe's companies work as an ensemble, and you can see they both speak of their method behind their work and regard for their company in a similar way, each member having their own strength to add. I have always wanted to facilitate dancing that shows the bodies own experience itself, and this is an idea in opposition to my desire, as a choreographer, to organise movement. Trying to have each dancer articulate, choreographically, what he or she knows about dancing has made some co-existence possible between the two apparently irreconcilable elements. (Spier www.Ballett-Frankfurt.com (R. Sulcas, 'in the news: the continuing evolution of Mr Forsythe', Dance Magazine, LXXI 1 (January 1997), p. 35.) Working from classically trained dancers Forsythe and his audience could see the difference in their performances, with their beautiful technique but with the freedom of the company allowing them to feel dance and become an individual on stage. Forsythe regards his Frankfurt dancers, Caspersen points out, as a 'choreographic ensemble'. They bring to the work an openness of thinking, and a readiness to respond to manifold improvisatory tasks, which generate movement. ...read more.


The movements were creating a vision for the idea of legs not being rooted in their new place and arms reaching out but not being quite grown yet. The movements communicated the idea quite literally in parts with limbs reaching but hitting boundaries and limits feeling lost in their new location. This area is where I see a difference in my research, studying review of both artists pieces I can see how in Kylian's reviews there is a stronger emphasis made on Kylian's subject than on Forsythe's where his form of dance seems more important. Both artists use their work to create a reaction from their audiences. In Jiri Kylian's Sarabande he incorporates the audience into his idea when choreographing. Kylian has conceived Sarabande - like a number of his later works - as 'a venture by means of choreography'. It is fundamentally related to No More Play, Falling Angels, and Sweet Dreams - as a black and white sketch to be completed and coloured in the mind of the observer. (Background Ballet information: www.NederlandsDansTheater.com) Forsythe also gets the audience to question themselves becoming engaged in the dance. As he pillages, he produces choreography that spills across the stage and out into the auditorium. It invites the audiences to experience something new, and to take this strange 'other' away with them and keep it tussling with it... it invites audiences used to seeing dancers defined by lighting to reconsider how theatre works. (Nugent 2001: 33) From my research I can see that both William Forsythe and Jiri Kylian are extremely similar choreographers, perhaps striking from their backgrounds. They both have stayed true to their love of classical training but broken free to develop it into their own style, both use improvisation and collaborating all areas of music, lighting and sound. I think one of their major differences comes from the fact that they use personal experiences to create their works, and as different people with different companies this makes them very individual. ...read more.

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