“Impressing the Czar”
June 5, 8, 2015
by Leigh Witchel
© 2015 by Leigh Witchel
After more than two decades as William Forsythe the tanztheater choreo- grapher, William Forsythe the ballet maker is once again in heavy circulation. He’s been spending a great deal of time with the companies dancing his older works. “Impressing the Czar,” one of his most important full-lengths from the 1980s, was set in Dresden at the Semperoper and coached by a team led by Kathryn Bennetts, but the choreographer visited for three weeks, coaching and tinkering. He changed a few combinations and replaced an intermission with a brief pause to bring the work in at two hours. The results were a joy for those of us who thought Forsythe was a top-tier choreographer, and an obscure and pretentious tanztheater maker. Well, hello, Ballet Billy. It’s so nice to have you back where you belong.
Helen Pickett and Julian Amir Lacey in “Impressing the Czar.” Photo © by Ian Whalen