A New Era for Ballet
In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated received immediate and immense critical acclaim. According to THE NEW YORK TIMES, “a new era for ballet had begun.”So what contributed to the piece’s monumental distinction as a turning point in ballet history?
Ultimately, it was the bold and brilliant combination of classical ballet and modern dance. Dance is an ever-changing art form, and Forsythe was celebrated for his uncanny ability to honor classical ballet while creatively deviating from it. This innovative style became one of Forsythe’s trademarks.
Throughout the piece, Forsythe strays from tradition through shocking physical movements with striking angles and extreme flexes of the dancers’ bodies. Yet, the piece remains rooted in a classical domain through its demanding technique and athleticism.
Three decades after the premiere of In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Forsythe is recognized as “one of the most visionary and influential choreographers on the planet” (THE BOSTON GLOBE).
“Bill Forsythe took the ballet world by storm with In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated,” said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “It established his legendary partnership with Thom Willems and has been performed widely by all major companies in the world.”
Nissinen regards Forsythe as “a profound American voice” (THE NEW YORK TIMES), and Forsythe’s enriching impact on ballet continues to blossom through his ongoing partnership with Boston Ballet.