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One flat thing, reproduced

film / Francfort / 2006 / 26'

The director of a dance film is inevitably confronted with the task of 'translating' from one medium to another. If it's a case of filming a "cult" choreography that pre-dates the film, the additional challenge is the "duty of recall" since the film of the choreography will carry with it, into some future time, the memory of its theatrical representation. One flat thing is rightly considered as one of William Forsythe's major works, in which the virtuosity of the performers rivals the ingenious complexity of the choreography (to the extent that this production has come to be known as "William Forsythe's olympics"! The film itself adopts a subjective approach, not exhaustive, a perspective that gathers and predetermines the sequence of production choices – in our view the best guarantee to have a chance of success in the transmission of the choreographic challenges.


Choreographie William Forsythe
Creation and choreographic performance the dancers of the Forsythe Company Yoko Ando, Cyril Baldy, Francesca Caroti, Dana Caspersen, Amancio Gonzalez, Sang Jijia, David Kern, Marthe Krummenacher, Prue Lang, Ioannis Mantafounis, Jone San Martin, Fabrice Mazliah, Roberta Mosca, Georg Reischl, Christopher Roman, Elizabeth Waterhouse, Ander Zabala
Director Thierry De Mey
Music Thom Willems
Director of Photography Philippe Guilbert
Cameraman Aliocha Van der Avoort
Assistant cameraman Benoît Deleris
Assistant director Pipo Tafel
Film editor Boris Van der Avoort
Sound editor Isabelle Boyer
Scene shifters Romain Gouillart, Frédéric Barbier, Maurizio Pipitone
Head of costumes Dorothée Merg
Technical director Peter Kanneberger
Sound recordist Marc Apruzzese
MK2TV/Acting Producer Charles Gillibert
Production director Servane Veillon
Director of The Forsythe Foundation Rebecca Groves
©2006 MK2TV / ARTE France / The Forsythe Company / Forsythe Foundation / ARCADI / Charleroi Danses

Forsythe, William

Raised in New York and initially trained in  Florida with Nolan Dingman and Christa Long, Forsythe danced with the  Joffrey Ballet and later the Stuttgart Ballet, where he was appointed  Resident Choreographer in 1976. Over the next seven years, he created  new works for the Stuttgart ensemble and ballet companies in Munich, The  Hague, London, Basel, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Paris, New York, and  San Francisco. In 1984, he began a 20-year tenure as director of the  Ballet Frankfurt, where he created works such as Artifact (1984),  Impressing the Czar (1988), Limb’s Theorem (1990), The Loss of Small  Detail (1991), A L I E / N A(C)TION (1992), Eidos:Telos (1995), Endless  House (1999), Kammer/Kammer (2000), and Decreation (2003)  

After the closure of the Ballet Frankfurt in 2004, Forsythe  established a new ensemble, The Forsythe Company, which he directed from  2005 to 2015. Works produced with this ensemble include Three  Atmospheric Studies (2005), You made me a monster (2005), Human Writes  (2005), Heterotopia (2006), The Defenders (2007), Yes we can’t  (2008/2010), I don’t believe in outer space (2008), The Returns (2009)  and Sider (2011). Forsythe’s most recent works were developed and  performed exclusively by The Forsythe Company, while his earlier pieces  are prominently featured in the repertoire of virtually every major  ballet company in the world, including the Mariinsky Ballet, New York  City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Semperoper  Ballet Dresden, England’s Royal Ballet and The Paris Opera Ballet.  

Awards received by Forsythe and his ensembles include the New  York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award (1988, 1998, 2004, 2007) and  London’s Laurence Olivier Award (1992, 1999, 2009). Forsythe has been  conveyed the title of Commandeur des Arts et Lettres (1999) by the  government of France and has received the Hessische Kulturpreis/Hessian  Culture Award (1995), the German Distinguished Service Cross (1997), the  Wexner Prize (2002), the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale (2010),  Samuel H Scripps / American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime  Achievement (2012) and the Grand Prix de la SACD (2016).

Forsythe has been commissioned to produce architectural and  performance installations by architect-artist Daniel Libeskind  (Groningen, 1989), ARTANGEL (London,1997), Creative Time (New York,  2005), and the SKD – Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (2013, 2014).   These “Choreographic Objects”, as Forsythe calls his installations,  include among others White Bouncy Castle (1997), City of Abstracts  (2000), The Fact of Matter (2009), Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same  Time No. 2 (2013) and Black Flags (2014). His installation and film  works have been presented in numerous museums and exhibitions, including  the Whitney Biennial (New York, 1997), Festival d’Avignon (2005, 2011),  Louvre Museum (2006),  Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich (2006), 21_21  Design Sight in Tokyo (2007), Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus  (2009), Tate Modern (London, 2009), Hayward Gallery, (London 2010), MoMA  (New York 2010), ICA Boston (2011), Venice Biennale (2005, 2009, 2012,  2014), MMK – Museum für Moderne Kunst (Frankfurt am Main, 2015) and the  20th Biennale of Sydney, 2016.

In collaboration with media specialists and educators, Forsythe  has developed new approaches to dance documentation, research, and  education. His 1994 computer application Improvisation Technologies: A  Tool for the Analytical Dance Eye, developed with the ZKM / Zentrum für  Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, is used as a teaching tool by  professional companies, dance conservatories, universities, postgraduate  architecture programs, and secondary schools worldwide. 2009 marked the  launch of Synchronous Objects for One Flat Thing, reproduced, a digital  online score developed with The Ohio State University that reveals the  organizational principles of the choreography and demonstrates their  possible application within other disciplines. Synchronous Objects was  the pilot project for Forsythe's Motion Bank, a research platform  focused on the creation and research of online digital scores in  collaboration with guest choreographers.

As an educator, Forsythe is regularly invited to lecture and  give workshops at universities and cultural institutions. In 2002,  Forsythe was chosen as one the founding Dance Mentor for The Rolex  Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Forsythe is an Honorary Fellow at  the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in London and holds an Honorary  Doctorate from The Juilliard School in New York. Forsythe is a current  Professor of Dance and Artistic Advisor for the Choreographic Institute  at the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.

Source : Forsythe Company Website

More information :

Forsythe Company website

De Mey, Thierry

Thierry De Mey, born in 1956, is a composer and filmmaker. An instinctive feel for movement guides his entire work, allowing him to tackle and integrate a variety of disciplines. The premise behind his musical and filmic writing is the desire for rhythm to be experienced in the body or bodies, revealing the musical meaning for the author, performer and audience. He has developed a system of musical writing for movement used in pieces where the visual and choreographic aspects are just as important as the gesture producing the sound, such as in "Musique de tables" (1987), "Silence must be!" (2002) and "Light Music", which premiered at Lyon's Musiques en Scène biennial festival in 2004.

A large part of his music production is intended for dance and cinema. He has often been more than a composer for the choreographers Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Wim Vandekeybus and his sister Michèle Anne De Mey, offering his precious collaboration in the invention of "formal strategies" – to use a favourite expression of his. Among his main work let us mention "Rosas danst Rosas", "Amor constante", "April me", "Kinok" (choreographies by A. T. De Keersmaeker), "What the body does not remember", "Les porteuses de mauvaises nouvelles", "Le poids de la main" (choreographies by W. Vandekeybus), "Dantons Töd" (dir. Bob Wilson), "Musique de table", "Frisking" pour percussions, un quatuor à cordes, "Counter Phrases", etc.

He participated in the foundation of Maximalist! and the Ictus ensemble which created several of his pieces (dir. G E Octors). His music has been performed by major ensembles such as the Arditti Quartet, the Hilliard Ensemble, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern, Muzikfabrik and the Orchestre Symphonique de Lille. Thierry De Mey's installations, in which music, dance, video and interactive processes work together, have been presented in events such as the Venice and Lyon biennials as well as in many museums. His work has received national and international awards (Bessie Awards, Eve du Spectacle, Forum des compositeurs de l'Unesco, FIPA, etc). The film/installation "Deep in the wood" (2002-2004) involved more than 70 dancers/choreographers. For the film "Counter Phrases" (2003-2004), nine composers answered his dance/film invitation : S. Reich, F. Romitelli, M. Lindberg, T. Hosokawa, G. Aperghis, J. Harvey, L. Francesconi, R. De Raaf and S. Van Eycken. In 2003, the working process with ATDK for "April me" was the subject of a documentary entitled "Corps accord", produced by ARTE which has also broadcast and co-produced most of his films.

Since July 2005, Thierry De Mey is artistic director of Charleroi/Danses along with Pierre Droulers, Michele Anne De Mey and Vincent Thirion.

In 2006, he realised an installation adapted from Perrault's tale, "Barbe Bleue" (Bluebeard), plus a film, "One Flat Thing, reproduced" based on the choreography by William Forsythe and broadcast by Arte in October. In 2007 he made From Inside for the Charleroi/Danses Biennale, an interactive installation in the form of a triptych. For the 2009 Charleroi/Danses Biennale, he created "Equi Voci", a polyptych of dance films accompanied by orchestral music and which includes "Prélude à la mer", a film based on one of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's most beautiful choreographies which he shot by the Aral Sea in October 2009. His latest film – "La Valse", choreographed by Thomas Hauert and the ZOO dance company – completes and close this project.

Source : Charleroi/danses

More information :

One Flat Thing, reproduced

Artistic direction / Conception : Thierry De Mey

Choreography : William Forsythe

Interpretation : Création et interprétation chorégraphique les danseurs de The Forsythe Company Yoko Ando, Cyril Baldy, Francesca Caroti, Dana Caspersen, Amancio Gonzalez, Sang Jijia, David Kern, Marthe Krummenacher, Prue Lang, Ioannis Mantafounis, Jone San Martin, Fabrice Mazliah, Roberta Mosca, Georg Reischl, Christopher Roman, Elizabeth Waterhouse, Ander Zabala

Original music : Thom Willems

Video conception : Directeur de la photographie Philippe Guilbert Cadreur Aliocha Van der Avoort Assistant caméra Benoît Deleris Assistant réalisateur Pipo Tafel Montage image Boris Van der Avoort Montage son Isabelle Boyer Machinistes Romain Gouillart, Frédéric Barbier, Maurizio Pipitone

Costumes : Chef costumière Dorothée Merg

Technical direction : Chef costumière Dorothée Merg

Other collaborations : Chef opérateur son Marc Apruzzese

Production / Coproduction of the video work : MK2TV / ARTE France / The Forsythe Company / Forsythe Foundation / ARCADI / Charleroi Danses

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