Thanks to the support of Cornell’s Society for the Humanities, I recently traveled to Montpellier to see The Forsythe Company’s 2006 work, Heterotopia, which proved to be consistent with the aesthetic direction and incomparable artistry of Forsythe’s recent work. The title is derived from Michel Foucault’s essay, “Des Espaces Autres,” which may be accessed digitally in both English and French. Most immediately, this reference to Foucault manifests itself in the performance’s highly unusual mise-en-scene, in which the audience is permitted to move at will between two visually exclusive playing spaces– a small, traditional proscenium space and a grid of tables whose margins accommodate its spectators.
The unusual technical demands of Heterotopia may likely restrict its circulation. However, if the equally unusual elation of the Montpellier Festival organizer staff is any indication, there may perhaps be an emerging institutional interest in works that challenge the traditional dimensions of theatrical space.
There is further, much more conceptually specific discussion of Heterotopia in my piece, “Forsythe’s Box: On the Afterlife of Choreography.”
To view the video again, please refresh the page. Or visit its original source at one of Europe’s leading venues for Dance, Tanzquartier Wien, which also has a large flash video library of performances.
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