Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Forsythe watch.

I consider this subject as a resource to the always cutting edge/ always inspiring projects of William Forsythe. I have worked briefly with dancers that collaborated with Forysthe; all will attest to the evolution of Forysthe's process and his consideration of what art means to a greater world.

Today OSU and the Forsythe company released a beta version of a new project which links choreography to science.

The press release states:
The Ohio State University and choreographer William Forsythe announce the April 1, 2009 launch of the interactive web project, "Synchronous Objects for One Flat Thing, reproduced". Focusing on Forsythe’s complex ensemble dance "One Flat Thing, reproduced", the project presents an original collection of screen-based visualizations (video, digital artwork, animation, and interactive graphics) that reveal interlocking systems of organization in the choreography. The project aims to appeal to a broad public from diverse fields including but not limited to dance. Forsythe explains, “The project starts from the recognition that choreography is an organizational practice that employs fundamental creative strategies relevant to other domains.”

Synchronous Objects will be available online to the public on April 1, 2009 at:

A symposium to celebrate the launch of the project will be held at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH at 3 pm on April 1 (concurrent with the opening of the Wexner Center exhibition William Forsythe: Transfigurations). For international audiences, the symposium participants will contribute to an e-symposium online April 1.

The project is the result of a collaboration between The Forsythe Company, based in Germany, and researchers at The Ohio State University from design, dance, computer science, geography, statistics and architecture who work together at OSU’s Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD). Creative Directors William Forsythe, Maria Palazzi (ACCAD/Department of Design), and Norah Zuniga Shaw (ACCAD/Department of Dance) describe the research as a process in which choreographic ideas are the source of information for the composition of unique visual objects. These objects enable the ideas in the choreography to be quickly grasped in their entirety and suggest new interpretations.
“This process of transformation from a dance to a choreographic object requires cross-disciplinary collaboration, and in our community at ACCAD we have found that thinking in this way makes space for new connections between art and science, practice and theory,” explains Zuniga Shaw. Adds Palazzi: “People will access the information in the site in many ways. We want this to be a space of discovery.”

Forsythe, formerly the director of the Frankfurt Ballet (Germany) and now The Forsythe Company is recognized for his innovation in classical ballet. He continues to explore innovation in dance, often extending his choreographic process into new manifestations including installations and the expressive digital media tools at the center of this new collaborative project. The collaboration with the ACCAD/Dance team emerged out of Forsythe’s interest in working in an interdisciplinary research environment. He explains, “I was drawn to Ohio State because of the intense focus on interrelation between artists and scientists at ACCAD and the unique significance of dance in that community.”

The Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD) at Ohio State is a leading academic center for interdisciplinary teaching and research in computer graphics and visualization. The Department of Dance is recognized nationally and internationally for its leadership in choreography, performance, dance documentation, and dance and technology.

„Tanzplan Deutschland supports Synchronous Objects for One Flat Thing, reproduced in its role as an innovative, multimedia learning tool for dance students. Teachers and students from Germany’s dance-education institutions got a first impression of the project during lecture demonstrations and workshops at Tanzplan Deutschland’s first Dance Education Biennale, held in early 2008 at the HAU in Berlin.“ (Ingo Diehl, Educational Programme Coordinator, Tanzplan Deutschland)

"Rotterdamse Dansacademie/Codarts is very happy to have been one of the European supporting partners of Synchronous Objects for One Flat Thing, reproduced, and for our students to have had the opportunity to be involved in the early-stage development of this groundbreaking project. We look forward to incorporating the finished work into our dance teaching and learning programmes." (Samuel Wuersten, Director Rotterdamse Danceacademie/Codarts)

Synchronous Objects is the first phase of Motion Bank, an initiative that Forsythe envisions will become accessible repository of ideas developed through choreographic investigation.

For more information about Synchronous Objects go to

Funding is provided by The Forsythe Company, The Forsythe Foundation, The Ohio State University Office of Research, Rotterdamse Dansacademie/Codarts, and Tanzplan Deutschland, an initiative created by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. The Forsythe Company is supported by the city of Dresden and the state of Saxony as well as the city of Frankfurt am Main and the state of Hesse. The Forsythe Company is also supported by Mrs. Susanne Klatten.

1 comment:

Doug Fox said...

I think that this Forsythe and OSU dance visualization project is fascinating.

I wrote two posts about this initiative on Great Dance:

"Exploring William Forsythe's 'Synchronous Objects' Website"

"William Forsythe's 'Synchronous Objects' at OSU Tomorrow"