The Latest: Leaving His Empire Behind
When the first group of BFA candidates enters University of Southern California’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance in the fall of 2015, the curriculum and studios will be brand-new. So will professor William Forsythe, who announced this spring that he would be leaving The Forsythe Company in the hands of former Ballet Frankfurt dancer Jacopo Godani to join the program’s dance faculty. “Mentorship is already part of what I do,” he said in a USC press release. “This appointment is just a little bit more formalized.”
Forsythe was interested in USC because of the school’s plans for collaboration and research. Director and vice dean Jodie Gates says the interdisciplinary curriculum will reach beyond diverse dance techniques by integrating studies in technology. “The virtual world is upon us,” she says. “We are interested in helping dancers develop new art forms, such as choreography for animation and gaming.” In addition to teaching composition and improvisation, Forsythe will mentor the USC International Artist Fellows, a program for emerging artists, and serve as artistic advisor to the Choreographic Institute, the research arm of the dance program.
Through e-mail, Forsythe said he will neither be living in California nor Germany full-time, alluding to a nomadic lifestyle. But he recognizes that the timing of the school’s opening in a burgeoning dance city couldn’t be more compelling. “There is a push in Los Angeles to make the dance community more interesting, all the time, and in any capacity,” he said. “In other very established artistic communities like Paris or London there are a few important individuals, but you don’t have the same kind of drive.”
From top: The Forsythe Company in Study #3; William Forsythe. Photos by Dominik Mentzos, Courtesy Sadler’s Wells and Forsythe Company.
On August 19, 1929, shockwaves were felt throughout the dance world as news spread that impresario Sergei Diaghilev had died. The founder of the Ballets Russes rewrote the course of ballet history as the company toured Europe and the U.S., championing collaborations with modernist composers, artists and designers such as Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel. The company launched the careers of its five principal choreographers: Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Léonide Massine, Bronislava Nijinska and George Balanchine.
Just four years ago, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomed its first class of BFA students. The program—which boasts world-class faculty and a revolutionary approach to training focused on collaboration and hybridity—immediately established itself as one of the country's most prestigious and most innovative.
Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
Chiara Valle is just one of many dancers heading back to the studio this fall as companies ramp up for the season. But her journey back has been far more difficult than most.
Valle has been a trainee at The Washington Ballet since 2016, starting at the same time as artistic director Julie Kent. But only a few months into her first season there, she started experiencing excruciating pain high up in her femur. "It felt like someone was stabbing me 24/7," she says. Sometimes at night, the pain got so bad that her roommates would bring her dinner to the bathtub.