Coming back from a vacation is always slightly easier to do when you have something to look forward to on the other end. For me, that was a hot date with the Boston Ballet at the dress rehearsal for William Forsythe’s Artifact.
The setting:: I’ve got a prime seat in a near-empty theater with two gems—Laura and Celina—a handful of photog/videographers, and Lillian, the darling Marketing Manager for the Boston Ballet. We’re chatting and waiting for the show to start when she casually tells me the choreographer has entered the building.
1. Forsythe is here?
2. FORSYTHE IS HERE.
3. What does he look like? Quick, I’ll Google image.
4. He’s an actor?
5. Definitely wrong Forsythe
6. Backspace backspace, “william forsythe choreographer”
7. GOT HIM ok. On the lookout.
8. Someone’s on the stage. Is it Dusty?
9. Why did I forget my glasses why did I forget my glasses
10. Better to focus on the movements than the faces anyway?
11. The lights are on.
12. There’s no music.
13. Is this because dress rehearsal or art?
14. QUIET DOWN PEOPLE IT’S PURPOSEFUL ARTISTIC SILENCE
15. Spooky setting reminds me of Into the Woods.
16. (In only the best of ways)
17. Spoken word?!
18. They never cease to surprise me here.
19. Trying not to forget you will hear you will see I think I’m being hypnotized? I think you’ve always been saying the same things down there
20. Their movements are so simple and clean they could almost trick you into thinking anyone could be up there performing.
21. Sorry suckers, harder than it looks.
22. Oh I LURVE the sound of bare feet on stage floors.
23. Takes me back to my younger days when I was taught that the most desirable thing in life is not a perfect dancer’s body or pristine balance or true love but rather perfectly calloused feet.
24. Wow there’s so much going on OH MY GOD I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO LOOK
25. Why you thought you think you saw you thought you think I’M GOING CRAZY AREN’T I
26. Their costumes looks so comfy!
27. I mean, relatively speaking.
28. Bodysuits can only be considered comfortable to a select part of the population.
29. Oh sorry I just lost all thoughts during that section.
30. I am being hypnotized aren’t I?
31. I haven’t seen high jumps like this since the Nutcracker Russians!
32. If you don’t incorporate syncopated clapping is it really a contemporary dance?
33. This might be the biggest ensemble piece I’ve seen on this stage to date.
34. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when some of these dancers receive their costume assignments.
35. It’s a pas de deux x2!
36. Like a double date!
37. SCENE CHANGE these transitions are so seamless it’s creepy!
38. How did we get down to one couple?
39. Ok I’m picking up on some political undertones.
40. It’s Trump’s America and we’re so confused and can’t keep up and don’t know where to look.
41. Don’t quote me on that one.
42. Women versus men democrats versus republicans?
43. I guarantee this work is unlike anything else these ballerinas have ever been asked to do.
44. Must confirm after show, is “ballerina” a degrading and/or anti-feminist term?
45. I know I know you know I know this is like a high school gossip sesh.
46. This PIANO I’m feeling La La Land right now!
47. SASS is it just me or did this just take a turn for sultry?
48. It’s the three Russians from The Nutcracker!
49. Also don’t quote me on that note to self check program books to confirm.
50. Ok there is definitely a political theme going on here right?
51. I. Am. Mesmerized.
52. I just let out a deep breath I didn’t even realize I was holding.
Like a fleeting summer romance, Artifact had the quickest of runtimes and unfortunately wrapped up last week. But it’s not your last chance to see a Forsythe piece–Boston Ballet kicked off a five-year partnership with the choreographer, so there’s more of where this came from. The improv, the purposeful unfinished production, this was unlike anything I’ve ever seen from this company.
In the meantime, save the date for the premiere of Boston Ballet’s Kylián/Wings of Wax, which kicks off March 23! Assuming my ridiculous commentary hasn’t gotten me banned from The Opera House, you know I’ll be back.