A Tale of Two Premieres

This interview first appeared in the June 5 Pointe e-newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, click here.


Pennsylvania Ballet's "Forsythe & Kyliàn" program, which opens next week, includes the company premieres of William Forsythe's Artifact Suite and Jiří Kylián's Forgotten Land--and principal Lauren Fadeley will be dancing in both. Pointe's e-news talked to Fadeley about the two works' different challenges.

This is your first time dancing Kyliàn. How would you describe his style?  
I wouldn't call it simple, but there's no extra frou frou to it. It's pure choreography, very grounded, and frequently dramatic. It feels mature.

You've danced Forsythe's In the middle, somewhat elevated and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude. How is Artifact Suite like and unlike those works?  
Bill was actually here working with us last week, and the way he described it is that works like In the middle are essentially ballet-like, whereas Artifact Suite is aggressively abstract and contemporary. I mean, the full-length Artifact involves text and spoken word and lots of props--it's pretty out there.

What was working with Forsythe like?
It was incredible! He even tweaked a few things in Artifact for me personally, and that was a huge rush. The changes went down in the books, too--the next time someone dances it, that's the way it'll be.

Going from Forgotten Land to Artifact Suite is a pretty big shift.
This morning we had Artifact rehearsal, and this afternoon it was back to Forgotten Land, which is a different world--that definitely challenges you. But it also helps me feel like a more complete dancer. We've been rehearsing The Four Temperaments recently too, because we're about to do it at Ballet Across America. When you get to do Kyliàn and Forsythe and Balanchine all in the same week, it's hard to complain.