A thrilling neoclassical style
Approximate Sonata was the fifth ballet of six contrasting sections within William Forsythe’s full-evening work, Six Counter Points. It appeared coupled with another ballet, under the heading of ‘Two Ballets in the Manner of the Late Twentieth Century’. The stage is bare, but for a makeshift tripod supporting a suspended blue lighting gel which casts the shadow of the word « Ja » (Yes) onto a rising and falling grey backdrop. Supported by a fragmented piano score from Thom Willems, a series of 5 complexly riveting, individually distinct pas de deux unfold, revealing a masterful demonstration of neo-classical elements taken to a new choreographic extreme via William Forsythe’s further development. The movement phrases both take on the feel of the echoed musical chords, while simultaneously defying them, following an inner drive and syncopated rhythm of their own. The dancers entwine, break away and reconvene within a suddenly-changing, dimly light-saturated space, charged with intermittent serenity and sudden impulse, creating an unusually concentrated atmosphere where the emphasis is upon the quality and essence of the movement itself.