Forsythe’s letter to his wife opens Sydney Dance Company’s 2015 season

William Forsythe’s Quintett, created in 1993, is the centerpiece of Sydney Dance Company’s 2015 season.

Forsythe has said that Quintett represented a “letter” to his first wife, the dancer, Tracy-Kai Maier, who in 1993 was dying of cancer.

When the work was presented in the United States two years ago Forsythe described Quintett as a celebration of her life, “more about appealing to her desire to live than the trauma of her dying.

“She had this tremendous life force, she was only 33 and young people just don’t like dying. She put up a lot of resistance.

“It’s not at all morbid…there’s no attempt to create any pathos. The message comes from the dancers in it, a message about living and dancing”.

Quintett, danced to an arrangement by Gavin Bryars of Jesus’s Blood Never Failed Me Yet, a song based on a street recording of a homeless man, forms one half of the first SDC season of the year, titled Frame of Mind.

The second work will be a new piece by SDC’s artistic director, Rafael Bonachela, set to the music of the American composer, Bryce Dessner. Frame of Mind opens in March in Sydney.

For Triptych, the title of the company’s second season, in September, the company will reprise the two-part Les Illuminations, a tribute to Benjamin Britten that premiered in 2013, and a new work by Bonachela, working with the same designers who collaborated on Les Illuminations, Toni Maticevski (costumes) and Ben Cisterne (set/lighting).

SDC will embark on a national tour in July and August with a triple bill, Bonachela’s Emergence, Larissa McGowan’s Fanatic and Alexander Ekman’s Cacti.

In April, it will take part in the Sydney Symphony’s work, Le Grand Tango, for which various choreographers will create works to the music of Astor Piazzolla and a solo cello.

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Sydney Dance Company’s Fiona Jopp, photo © Justin Ridler

Quintett, photo © Ryan Schude