Not much. Unlike Penny (goodness, how lyrical!), my experience is all in words, and I feel the particularly invidious nature of words (their prickly jealousy of flesh) as I try to assemble my thoughts here.
I’ve read reviews. Critics often fixate on movement quality (they say things like sharp, fierce, obsessive) and critical apparatus–the text in the programs or in the pieces. Writers often feel possessive about words, and when dancers/choreographers wander over into our territory, we occasionally spit at them–which is the impression I get from Forsythe reviews. The reviews scare me. From them, I expect to see cold hard theory. I expect pomposity. I expect pretentiousness.
But if Penny likes it, I suspect I might as well. Penny’s own work fits a lot of the descriptive words she’s using for Forsythe’s, and I adore Penny’s work. I’m also excited to see the foremost choreographer of avant-garde ballet, because I love ballet and I often love the avant-garde, and I often wish that more ballet work exposed the really fascinating structure, ethos, framework, whatever you’d like to call it, of ballet. Ballet is far more interesting than most avant-garde artists and viewers give it credit for, and I’ll raise a glass to any choreographer working to show that.
And about the words? Well, I’m trying to get used to a certain language that crops up in movement circles. It’s thorny, not pretty, sometimes absurd and sometimes hyperbolic. But you have to remember that this language is trying to describe something at language’s edge–the body and its life. That in itself is an interesting project.