Fax from choreographer leads Royal Ballet a dance

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The Independent Online
A world premiere scheduled for the Royal Ballet next month has been cancelled after the choreographer faxed the company to inform them that "choreographically I no longer exist . . ."

This follows the last-minute cancellation of another world premiere at the Royal Ballet after that choreographer confessed his new ballet was only seven minutes long.

The sensitive dispositions of the world's leading creators of contemporary dance have played havoc with the Royal Ballet's programme this season.

The much anticipated, 25-minute, one-act ballet, by American choreographer William Forsythe, had been selling heavily for its planned six performances next month.

In a fax to the company, Mr Forsythe said that although he had made balletic works for classical companies in the past, his more recent works had involved dancers "fluent in a movement co-ordination that evolves outside of classical norms", who are responsible "for the construction of the movements and the phrases and counterpoint thereof. In other words, we share authorship, and this collaboration is an obvious and joyously dependent one: they on me, I on them . . . my intention being to diminish hierarchical authorship.

"I have guided these artists intimately, and have myself become dependent on their mastery of my ideas. The result being that choreographically, I (thankfully) no longer exist without them. I now find myself in the position of having no artistic means, or common ground, for creating new works with dancers who practise outside these methods."

Anthony Dowell, artistic director of the Royal Ballet, commented: "Obviously this is a tremendous disappointment to us, as we were looking forward immensely to the company's first major new work by Forsythe."

Mr Forsythe has proposed that the company performs an existing work of his. Mr Dowell has agreed, subject to him creating a new, 10-minute piece to accompany it in the programme.

A Royal Ballet spokeswoman said last night: "We don't like messing our audience around . . . but it is not our fault."

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