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Enemy In the Figure. William Forsythe 2001


Enemy in the Figure. A dancer with her shadow in the stage
  • Choreography: William Forsythe
  • Music: Thom Willems
  • Scenography: William Forsythe
  • Costumes: William Forsythe
  • Light Design: William Forsythe
  • World premiered by Frankfurt Ballet in Frankfurt, May 13th, 1989. Premiered by Compañía Nacional de Danza at Teatro Real in Madrid, May 18th, 2001.

In Enemy in the Figure eleven dancers perform as if observed under a microscope. Edgy and detached, they move in and out of the shadows cast by a huge spot light, their bodies in counter point to an environment saturated in technology.

Making use of an undulating screen positioned diagonally across the stage, a rope that is pulsed across the floor as if indicating energy levels or secret messages, a floodlight on wheels that is manipulated by the dancers, and a ticking, brooding score by Thom Willems, Enemy in the Figure is a dark and thrilling poem about vision and perception, form and chaos. Light - as integral here to the choreography as the steps - filters across the stage in uneven and transient shafts, exploding and contracting the space, bathing the dancers in a concentrated glare or obscuring them with deepening shadows that intensify the ephemeral beauty of the movement. Donning garments of layered fringes over their black or White Darkness leotards, the dancers burst out of and disappear into the White Darkness like eruptions from the unconscious, their bodies appearing as polyphonous instruments that can generate movement from any point. Ballet-trained limbs mutate into angled, disjointed shapes, inscribing convulsive geometries as they spin against their kinetic shadows, or generate endless chains of movement on a suddenly empty stage, the light bleached and even, the music a low, rhythmic, repetitive melody. In a universe alternately frenetic and calm, Enemy in the Figurepresents a non-narrative of mystery and urgency, isolation and connection, the mechanical and the human: dance as a medium for infinite possibilities.