Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LIFESTYLE - Tanya MacNaughton

IN a par­al­lel to the work it­self, which fea­tures 20 ta­bles, there are many ob­sta­cles ma­jor dance com­pa­nies usu­ally have to nav­i­gate to present Amer­i­can chore­og­ra­pher Wil­liam Forsythe’s One Flat Thing, Re­pro­duced.

In a land­mark achieve­ment for na­tional chore­o­graphic de­vel­op­ment cen­tre Strut Dance, Forsythe has re­leased his reper­toire to 14 in­de­pen­dent dance artists who will per­form the free 20-minute piece at the State The­atre Cen­tre of WA Court­yard at 6.45pm from March 29 to April 1. It will not only be the first time One Flat

Thing, Re­pro­duced has been pre­sented out­side but the au­di­ence will also be free to roam the space to ex­pe­ri­ence it from mul­ti­ple an­gles.

Forsythe’s right-hand mu­si­cal man and Dutch com­poser Thom Willems has trav­elled from Frank­furt, where the chore­og­ra­pher is based, to ac­com­pany the dancers with live mu­sic.

“We are a chore­o­graphic de­vel­op­ment cen­tre, so Wil­liam Forsythe and his train­ing, method­ol­ogy and reper­toire have been part of our chore­o­graphic train­ing process,” Strut Dance artis­tic di­rec­tor Paul Sel­wyn Nor­ton said.

“At the end of the three years, which we’re com­ing to now, we have a per­for­mance out­come; Bill iden­ti­fied this show to give to us as our goal­post.

“What is beau­ti­ful is that I made this piece (in 2000) when I was with his com­pany, so it’s a kind of gift back to me. I think it’s tes­ta­ment to how much he trusts us as an or­gan­i­sa­tion and I think that’s off the back of what we’ve been do­ing for the past four years.”

Nor­ton said Forsythe came from a clas­si­cal back­ground but as a great artist he had em­braced ev­ery sin­gle dance style and then amal­ga­mated it into a clas­si­cal id­iom.

“Even this piece has a clas­si­cal frame around it,” he said.

“You wouldn’t think so to look at it, but you can see his roots in (Ge­orge) Balan­chine. He was born from that cul­ture – highly rig­or­ous, ath­letic and very dy­namic in the space.”

One Flat Thing, Re­pro­duced was taken from a de­con­struc­tion of an old show called

Robert Scott about the Antarc­tic ex­plorer who strived to race Roald Amund­sen across the ice for the South Pole and failed in the process, los­ing his life.

“That’s why Bill has cre­ated this ice sheet of ta­bles,” Nor­ton said.

“The ob­sta­cle of the ice sheet for Robert Scott is the ob­sta­cle those dancers have to go over.

“It’s very much about self-gov­er­nance and that you are the au­thor of your own path­ways.”

Di­rec­tor Paul Sel­wyn Nor­ton. Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d466978

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