Sondra Forsyth

Sondra Forsyth

 

Sondra Forsyth is Editor-in-Chief of Broadway World Dance. A National Magazine Award winner and a member of Dance Critics Association, she founded Ballet Ambassadors in New York City and was the Artistic Director for 16 years with support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Sondra has served as a guest teacher for the American Ballet Theatre open classes and on the faculty of The School at Steps on Broadway, the Harkness Dance Center of the 92nd Street Y, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Studio de Ballet Opera in Beirut, Lebanon. She was Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director with Jan Hanniford Goetz of the Huntington School of Ballet and the Huntington Ballet Theatre on Long Island. Sondra is also Co-Editor-in-Chief of thirdAGE.com and formerly held the posts of Executive Editor at Ladies’ Home Journal, Features Editor at Cosmopolitan, and Articles Editor at Bride’s. Sondra’s byline has appeared in Dance Magazine and Dance Teacher as well as many major publications. Sondra has a grown son and daughter, a son-in-law, and two grandsons. She is the author, co-author, or ghostwriter of twelve books and holds an M.A. from Harvard.




MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: ABT's Staging of GISELLE Offers Superb Dancing but Misses the Mark During the Iconic Mad SceneBWW Review: ABT's Staging of GISELLE Offers Superb Dancing but Misses the Mark During the Iconic Mad Scene
Posted: May. 20, 2018


BWW Review: The Second Annual CHITA RIVERA AWARDS Honored Outstanding Members of the Dance World During a Diverse and Delightful Evening of PerformancesBWW Review: The Second Annual CHITA RIVERA AWARDS Honored Outstanding Members of the Dance World During a Diverse and Delightful Evening of Performances
Posted: May. 21, 2018


BWW Review: ABT's Historical Reconstruction of HARLEQUINADE Is (Literally) a Slapstick Romp That Delights the Eyes and EarsBWW Review: ABT's Historical Reconstruction of HARLEQUINADE Is (Literally) a Slapstick Romp That Delights the Eyes and Ears
Posted: Jun. 9, 2018


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: YAGP Final Round and Gala Shone More Brightly Than Ever in 2018BWW Review: YAGP Final Round and Gala Shone More Brightly Than Ever in 2018
Posted: Apr. 21, 2018


BWW Review: Juilliard's 2017 Edition of NEW DANCES Celebrates the Legacy of Lawrence RhodesBWW Review: Juilliard's 2017 Edition of NEW DANCES Celebrates the Legacy of Lawrence Rhodes
Posted: Dec. 8, 2017


BWW Review: BALLET WEST Returns to the Joyce in NYC for a Five-Day RunBWW Review: BALLET WEST Returns to the Joyce in NYC for a Five-Day Run
Posted: Oct. 13, 2017


BWW Review: Program D of the 2017 FALL FOR DANCE FESTIVAL at City Center Delighted a Full House of DancegoersBWW Review: Program D of the 2017 FALL FOR DANCE FESTIVAL at City Center Delighted a Full House of Dancegoers
Posted: Oct. 16, 2017


BWW Review: RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR Dazzles Again for Its 84th SeasonBWW Review: RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR Dazzles Again for Its 84th Season
Posted: Nov. 20, 2017


BWW Review: NEW YORK CITY BALLET'S Swan Lake Features World Class Dancing but Lackluster Decor and CostumesBWW Review: NEW YORK CITY BALLET'S Swan Lake Features World Class Dancing but Lackluster Decor and Costumes
Posted: Sep. 22, 2017


BWW Review: NYCO, Back in Business and Boasting First-Rate Dancing Along With the SingingBWW Review: NYCO, Back in Business and Boasting First-Rate Dancing Along With the Singing
September 9, 2016

The New York City Opera, notably nicknamed 'The People's Opera' by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia when it was founded in 1943, succumbed to bankruptcy in 2013 after 70 glorious years but has risen from the ashes under new management. On the evening of September 8th 2016 at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater, following a brief pre-season during the summer in Bryant Park, the company opened its first full season since the reorganization with a double bill of Rachmaninoff's 'Aleko' and Leoncavallo's 'Pagliacci' that featured first-rate dancing along with the superb singing.

BWW Review: BALLETX, Philly's Groundbreaking Contemporary Company, Offers Three NYC Premieres at the JoyceBWW Review: BALLETX, Philly's Groundbreaking Contemporary Company, Offers Three NYC Premieres at the Joyce
August 18, 2016

On August 16th 2016, opening night of a six-day run at the Joyce, BalletX did not disappoint dancegoers anticipating a taste of the quirky fare for which the troupe has become known. Billing itself as 'Philadelphia's premier contemporary ballet', the company has from its inception in 2005 been what the founders have called a 'playground' that has allowed choreographers the freedom to experiment and explore as they strive to create exciting new works.

BWW Review: ROSIE HERRERA DANCE THEATRE Concludes AMERICAN DANCE FESTIVAL's Premiere NYC SeasonBWW Review: ROSIE HERRERA DANCE THEATRE Concludes AMERICAN DANCE FESTIVAL's Premiere NYC Season
August 5, 2016

Although the Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre has performed in NYC before, the company's appearance from August 4th to 6th 2016 as the second half of the American Dance Festival's first season in the Big Apple included the New York debut of Herrera's Carne Viva. The work was commissioned by ADF.

BWW Review: PROVINCIAL DANCES THEATRE Offers an Auspicious Start to AMERICAN DANCE FESTIVAL's First NYC SeasonBWW Review: PROVINCIAL DANCES THEATRE Offers an Auspicious Start to AMERICAN DANCE FESTIVAL's First NYC Season
August 3, 2016

Opening night on August 1st 2016 of a shared week at the Joyce presented by the venerable American Dance Festival got the six-day run off to an auspicious start. Provincial Dances Theatre, a company from Russia, treated dancegoers to two mesmerizing contemporary works by Tatiana Baganova that will also be on the boards August 2nd and 3rd. From August 4th to 6th, the Miami-based Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre will complete the season.

BWW Book Review: A CHANCE TO DANCE, by Betsy BradleyBWW Book Review: A CHANCE TO DANCE, by Betsy Bradley
July 19, 2016

Bradley has written a clear, comprehensive guide to dance education in all its current ramifications including jazz and hip hop. She discusses classes for students of all ages including adults. Her tone is friendly and accessible. She lays out the facts about everything from cost to male dance education to competitions, and much more. Any parent with limited knowledge of dance would benefit from Bradley's information and advice. As a lifelong ballet teacher myself, I sometimes forget how much the novice dance parent needs to learn. This book fills that need.

BWW Review: ABT's 'The Golden Cockerel' Is More of a Grandiose Theatrical Production Than a BalletBWW Review: ABT's 'The Golden Cockerel' Is More of a Grandiose Theatrical Production Than a Ballet
June 8, 2016

ABT's Resident Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, who created the version of 'The Golden Cockerel' that had its company premiere on June 6th 2016, is quoted in a Playbill article by Caroline Hamilton as saying, 'This production is overwhelmingly theatrical'. Ah, so that explains why there is virtually no dancing in the entire first act and very little in the second act! A little research reveals that Ratmansky reportedly added more dancing after getting less than laudatory reviews in 2012 when his 'Cockerel' opened in Copenhagen. Yet mime still predominates, which is the legacy of the unwieldy and heavy original costume designs by avant-garde artist Natalia Goncharova for the 1914 and 1937 Ballet Russes opera ballet productions of 'Le Coq d'Or' with choreography by Fokine. (In 1914, 'baby ballerina' Tamara Karsavina danced the role of the Queen of Shemakhan with Enrico Cecchetti as the Astrologer. The Cockerel was a stage prop.)

BWW Review: INTERLOCHEN ARTS ACADEMY Orchestra and Dancers Gave a Stellar Concert as Part of the NY Philharmonic BiennialBWW Review: INTERLOCHEN ARTS ACADEMY Orchestra and Dancers Gave a Stellar Concert as Part of the NY Philharmonic Biennial
June 7, 2016

I was delighted but not surprised by the polished professionalism of the teenage musicians and dancers from Michigan's Interlochen Center for the Arts who performed on the afternoon of June 5th 2016 at David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center as part of the New York Philharmonic's Biennial celebration. I expected nothing less because I knew from my own years as a ballet major and later as a ballet teacher at Interlochen's summer camp that first-rate artistry is the goal at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

BWW Review: NEW YORK CITY BALLET's 'Classic NYCB II' Is a Reminder of Why the Company in an Artistic TreasureBWW Review: NEW YORK CITY BALLET's 'Classic NYCB II' Is a Reminder of Why the Company in an Artistic Treasure
May 24, 2016

On the afternoon of May 22nd 2016, audience members at a nearly sold out performance of New York City Ballet's 'Classic NYCB II' program at the Koch Theater in Lincoln Center were treated to five selections that underscored the impressive range and enduring excellence of the troupe's repertoire.

BWW Review: AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE's 2016 Spring Gala Offered a Delightful Sampling of the Season's RepertoireBWW Review: AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE's 2016 Spring Gala Offered a Delightful Sampling of the Season's Repertoire
May 20, 2016

On the evening of May 16th 2016 at the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center, the beloved troupe that was recognized as 'America's National Ballet Company' in 2006 by the United States Congress proved once again that the American Ballet Theatre is indeed a treasure. Dancegoers in dazzling formal attire were treated to a Spring Gala that eschewed traditional staples and showcased instead an appetite-whetting smorgasbord of excerpts from the spring season as well as a world premiere and the one-act Firebird.

BWW Book Review: SHAPES OF AMERICAN BALLET: Teachers and Training Before Balanchine, by Jessica ZellerBWW Book Review: SHAPES OF AMERICAN BALLET: Teachers and Training Before Balanchine, by Jessica Zeller
May 16, 2016

Jessica Zeller's exhaustively researched and engagingly written book, available now for pre-order, is an eye-opening addition to our currently extant ballet literature. Full disclosure: I was Zeller's childhood ballet teacher, and I'm honored that she mentions me in her acknowledgements. That said, however, my review of her impressive and valuable contribution to the history of ballet in America is unbiased.

BWW Dance Review: VKIBC 2016 Was True to Its Mission of 'Preserving the Past, Discovering the Future'BWW Dance Review: VKIBC 2016 Was True to Its Mission of 'Preserving the Past, Discovering the Future'
May 3, 2016

On April 30th 2016 at Symphony Space on NYC's Upper West Side, Valentina Kozlova glowed with well-deserved pride as she introduced the Awards Ceremony and Gala of this year's eponymous Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition. Originally called the Boston Ballet Competition, the event has mushroomed in just six years into a worthy contender for joining the ranks of such celebrated competitions as Youth America Grand Prix, Varna, and Jackson.

BWW Dance Review: YAGP 2016 Was Better Than Ever at 'Ensuring the Future of Dance'BWW Dance Review: YAGP 2016 Was Better Than Ever at 'Ensuring the Future of Dance'
April 30, 2016

The 2016 season of Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) culminated during three days in April at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). On April 27th, the Final Round of this celebrated international competition proved to be a heartening display of youthful promise. Then on April 28th and 29th, the "Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow" Gala featured the 2016 YAGP finalists along with a roster of top-flight professionals. Several of the pros are former YAGP alumni, which validates YAGP's motto: "Ensuring the Future of Dance".

BWW Review: Artistic Director Angel Corella Brings PENNSYLVANIA BALLET to NYC with a Vibrant Contemporary Triple BillBWW Review: Artistic Director Angel Corella Brings PENNSYLVANIA BALLET to NYC with a Vibrant Contemporary Triple Bill
April 4, 2016

Pennsylvania Ballet returned to New York City for a run at the Joyce from March 29th to April 3rd 2016, the first time the company has been here since Angel Corella took on the role of Artistic Director 18 months ago. Corella, the former American Ballet Theatre Principal who won our hearts with his boyish charm and boundless energy, turns out to be well suited to his second act as a director. Wisely, he eschewed the classics and brought three intimate and innovative contemporary pieces that were perfectly suited to the up-close-and-personal Joyce venue as well as to discerning NYC dancegoers. As Corella himself put it in an endearing program note, 'I know that New York audiences are very smart and know good work and good dancing when they see it, which is why I know you are going to love this program.'

BWW Review: PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET Offered a Forsythe-Infused Triple Bill at New York City CenterBWW Review: PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET Offered a Forsythe-Infused Triple Bill at New York City Center
February 29, 2016

Seattle's Pacific Northwest Ballet under the artistic direction of Peter Boal returned to New York City Center in February 2016 with an 'All Balanchine' program on the 24th and 25th followed by a triple bill, 'Contemporary Innovations', on the 26th and 27th. The latter, which I saw on the 26th, featured works by two choreographers who had at one time worked with William Forsythe as members of Ballett Frankfurt and a third piece by Forsythe himself. Forsythe's protegees created pieces that harked back to his own reinvention of classical ballet, yet went further in that direction with strikingly individual styles. The PNB dancers, superbly trained and impeccably rehearsed, gave world-class performances in all three of the evening's offerings. In particular, Angelica Generosa was a shining presence with superb technique. She is currently a member of the corps de ballet, but I see a promotion in her future.

BWW Review: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Triumphs With 'La Sylphide' and 'Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2'BWW Review: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Triumphs With 'La Sylphide' and 'Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2'
February 16, 2016

Peter Martins' reconstruction of the 1836 tragicomedy, 'La Sylphide', and Balanchine's 1972 update of 'Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2' proved to be a particularly felicitous pairing for a February 12th to 18th run at the Koch Theater during New York City Ballet's Winter Season. 'La Sylphide', with choreography by the Danish icon August Bournonville to a score by Herman Lovenskjold, is a masterpiece of surprisingly campy humor plus gorgeous 'white ballet' ensemble work for the ladies. After that opener, the audience is warmed up and ready for one of Mr. B's most ingenious plotless neoclassic treasures.

BWW Review: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Offers a Win-Win with a Balanchine and Robbins Double BillBWW Review: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Offers a Win-Win with a Balanchine and Robbins Double Bill
February 1, 2016

As part of New York City Ballet's Winter Season 2016 at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater, the program appropriately entitled 'Masters at Work' was a perfect pairing of two disparate yet in one way similar creations by the troupe's founding choreographers, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Mr. B's Liebeslieder Walzer, which premiered in November of 1960, is a lush and romantic evocation of 19th century Vienna to the music of Johannes Brahms set to poems by Friedrich Daumer and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In contrast, Robbins's Glass Pieces dating from 1984 is a pulsing portrayal of urban urgency in the 20th century with Philip Glass's minimalist score as the accompaniment.

BWW Review: The Legendary TWYLA THARP Capped Her 50th Anniversary Tour with a Six-Day Run in NYCBWW Review: The Legendary TWYLA THARP Capped Her 50th Anniversary Tour with a Six-Day Run in NYC
November 23, 2015

Twyla Tharp, the award-winning choreographer who has rightfully become a dance legend in her own time, capped her multi-city 50th Anniversary Tour with performances from November 17th to 22nd 2015 at the Koch Theater in Lincoln Center, presented by The Joyce Theater. Yet perhaps precisely because the run has been so eagerly anticipated by those of us who have followed Tharp's evolution during a stellar career that spans half a century, the double bill of premieres she created for the tour was not entirely satisfying.

BWW Review: BALLET MEMPHIS Brings Diversity and a Southern Sensibility to a Run at the JoyceBWW Review: BALLET MEMPHIS Brings Diversity and a Southern Sensibility to a Run at the Joyce
November 2, 2015

In the wake of the media frenzy about African-American ballerina Misty Copeland, a recent article in The New York Times by Gia Kourlas applauds the fact that the American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet are featuring black, Asian, Latino, and multiracial dancers 'where it matters most: Lincoln Center, home base to both companies'.

BWW Review: AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE Is as Versatile as Ever in a Mixed BillBWW Review: AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE Is as Versatile as Ever in a Mixed Bill
October 30, 2015

According to a 1998 review of ABT by Jack Anderson in The New York Times, publicists for the company in the early days used to call the troupe 'a museum of the dance.' Anderson commented that this is a good phrase to describe the company 'provided one realizes that great museums can encourage new art as well as preserve old'. I heartily concur. As I've mentioned before, I always remind my ballet students that we can hang a Rembrandt or a Picasso on a museum wall for posterity, but each generation of dancers must be capable performing both the old and the new if we are to keep our history alive. Fortunately, true to ABT's founding mission 'to develop a repertoire of the best ballets from the past and to encourage the creation of new works by gifted young choreographers,' this national treasure continues to present accurate historical reconstructions as well as new works by today's choreographers.

BWW Review: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Serves up a Five-Course Feast of Ballets to the Music of American ComposersBWW Review: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Serves up a Five-Course Feast of Ballets to the Music of American Composers
October 6, 2015

There may be no better way to chase the gloom of an unseasonably chilly and wind-whipped evening in NYC than to watch New York City Ballet's delightfully varied quintuple-bill entitled "Americana X Five". On October 2nd 2015, with Hurricane Joaquin's approach bringing on a gusty downpour, I was among the lucky dancegoers at the Koch Theater in Lincoln Center who enjoyed one of the best programs the company has offered in a long time. If you'll be in town through October 7th, don't miss the chance to see the works of four very different choreographers set to the equally wide-ranging works of a talented handful of American composers.



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