White Bouncy Castle 

William Forsythe – Dana Capsersen – Joel Ryani

Environmental installation

After his 2017 visit to the Grande Halle de la Villette with the installation Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time No. 2, composed of a multitude of suspended and moving clocks, William Forsythe, the American choreographer, returns to occupy the venue with his White Bouncy Castle created in 1997. For over thirty years, the artist has been exploring new formats with his “choreographic objects” that combine gestures and installations. A playful and gigantic work, White Bouncy Castle, created by Dana Caspersen and William Forsythe, immerses visitors in an immersive and casual experience. Animated by the experimental sound creation of composer Joel Ryan, their artistic collaboration illustrates the same desire to work around movement, gravity and speed. In this intimate monochromatic white space, visitors of all generations are invited to fall and bounce in order to better feel their bodies and become actors of their own choreography. The loss of spatial and temporal reference points confuses the audience, but the resulting involuntary euphoria is contagious and, in some cases, addictive.


Born in New York in 1949, William Forsythe is considered the contemporary choreographer who has best taken up, updated and reshaped the heritage of classical ballet, proving to be the truest heir to the genius of George Balanchine. 

Forsythe became one of the most in-demand free-lance choreographers in the early 1980s, landing in Berlin (Die Nacht aus Blei, 1981), Paris (France/Dance, 1983), Vienna (where he created a stir by showing a film in the basement of the Wiener Staatsopern, Berg Ab, instead of staging a live ballet), Frankfurt (Gänge, 1983), The Hague (Say Bye Bye and Gänge 1 – ein Stück über Ballett, both for the Nederland Dans Theater) and New York itself (Square Deal, 1983, for the old Joffrey Ballet).

The year of the turning point, both artistically and professionally, was 1984, when he accepted the post of director of the Frankfurt Ballet (which was still under the administration of the Frankfurt Opera House): Forsythe would hold this post for twenty years, transforming the German company into one of the most innovative and sought-after in the world and developing an inimitable style, in which the codes of classical ballet and the innovations of contemporary dance, the rigour of a geometric vision and the emotional impact of a thought open to the anxieties of modernity coexist in miraculous harmony. 


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