An acclaimed American choreographer and director, former artistic director of Ballet Frankfurt, founder of The Forsythe Company (from 2015 Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company), Commandeur des Arts et Lettres.
Born in New York, he graduated from Jeffrey Ballet School, then became a member of Jeffrey Ballet II and Stuttgart Ballet. He started working as choreographer in Stuttgart and was appointed Resident Choreographer there in 1976. From 1984 until 2004 he was artistic director of Ballet Frankfurt, after its closure he founded a new ensemble, The Forsythe Company, which he directed from 2005 to 2015.
Over the years he collaborated with every leading ballet company in the world including Opéra de Paris, New York City Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, English National Ballet, Semperoper Dresden, National Ballet of Canada, San Francisco Ballet, NDT, Stuttgart Ballet, Bayerisches Staatsballet and many others.
His most celebrated works inclide ballets such as In the Middle Somewhat Elevated (1987), Impresing the Czar (1988), The Second Detail (1991), The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude (1996), One Flat Thing (2000), Decreation (2003), Heterotopia (2006) or Blake Works I (2016).
Forsythe has been commissioned to produce architectural and performance installations by architect-artist Daniel Libeskind. These “Choreographic Objects”, as Forsythe calls his installations, include among others White Bouncy Castle (1997), City of Abstracts (2000), Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time No. 2 (2013), Black Flags (2014), Underall (2017) and Unsustainables (2019). His installation and film works have been presented in numerous museums and exhibitions, includin Louvre Museum, Tate Modern, MoMA and many others.
Awards received by Forsythe and his ensembles include the New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award and Olivier Award (1992, 1999, 2009). He has been conveyed the title of Commandeur des Arts et Lettres (1999) by the government of France and has received the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale and Lifetime Achievement Benois de La Danse among many otherss
In collaboration with media specialists and educators, Forsythe has developed new approaches to dance documentation, research, and education. His 1994 computer application Improvisation Technologies: A Tool for the Analytical Dance Eye is used as a teaching tool by professional companies, dance conservatories, universities, postgraduate architecture programs and secondary schools worldwide.
William Forsythe is an Honorary Fellow at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in London and holds an Honorary Doctorate from The Juilliard School in New York.