The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude

William Forsythe

Set to the final movement of Schubert’s 9th Symphony, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude uses the entire arsenal of classical ballet repertoire: the tutu, pointe shoes, virtuosity and lyricism, and a friendly relationship between dancers of the opposite sex. This pas de cinq is an astounding demonstration of pure classical technique as used by Forsythe as a starting point for choreographic possibility – distilled to its most brilliant and flawless form.

  • World premiere: Ballett Frankfurt at Operahouse Frankfurt, Frankfurt (Germany), January 20th 1996
  • Premiere by CND: at Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona (Spain), March 4th 2016

It is an affectionate homage to both Petipa and Balanchine, in its codes, its compositional structures (solos inserted amid various pas de deux, pas de trois and ensemble work), its precise, striking allegro work. The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude is also a clear celebration of the dancer and his or her ability to transform technical difficulty into mastery, the incarnation of a tradition in dance. Roslyn Sulcas


  • Choreography:
    William Forsythe
  • Music:
    Franz Schubert: Finale from Symphony No. 9 in c major
  • Staging:
    Noah Gelber
  • Set and Lighting Design:
    William Forsythe
  • Costume Design:
    Stephen Galloway
  • Duration:
    13 minutes
  • Premiere cast CND:
    Yae Gee Park, Helena Balla, Kayoko Everhart, Alessandro Riga, Anthony Pina