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 or co-author of twelve books and holds an M.A. from Harvard.




MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

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: 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


LAST 365 DAYS

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: 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: American Ballet Theatre Offers a New Production of John Cranko's EUGENE ONEGIN, Courtesy of the National Ballet of CanadaBWW Review: American Ballet Theatre Offers a New Production of John Cranko's EUGENE ONEGIN, Courtesy of the National Ballet of Canada
Posted: Jun. 22, 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: 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.

BWW Reviews: NEW YORK CITY BALLET'S “Swan Lake” Gets Dance 10, Costumes and Scenery 0
September 28, 2015

New York City Ballet's 'Swan Lake', which opened the 2015 fall season with performances from September 22nd to 29th, is a testament to the old adage that goes 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' In creating this iteration of one of the most beloved staples in ballet's classical canon, Artistic Director Peter Martins and his colleagues tinkered mercilessly with everything from the choreography to the costumes and sets. The dancing on the evening of Friday, September 25th when I saw the production was gorgeous and the story line was suitably moving, but those positive aspects didn't make up for the other glaring flaws. Not only that, but the orchestra was definitely not in fine fettle. Tchaikovsky's glorious score deserves better.

BWW Reviews: THE ROYAL BALLET Offers an Uneven Mixed Bill by British ChoreographersBWW Reviews: THE ROYAL BALLET Offers an Uneven Mixed Bill by British Choreographers
June 29, 2015

The second program of the Royal Ballet of England's return to New York City after an 11-year hiatus and the first appearance of the company at the Koch Theatre in Lincoln Center was an ambitious but not entirely successful presentation of works by British choreographers. The greatest failing was not onstage but in the Playbill. No notes at all were included to help the audience appreciate the ballets and the music in a historical context. While I applaud the company as well as the presenting Joyce Theater Foundation for eschewing the standard story ballets in favor of repertory fare, I am at a loss to figure out why the dancegoers were not given any information other than titles, credits, and casting. On the afternoon of June 27th when I was there, I overheard many people during pauses and intermissions commenting that a little assistance in comprehending the inspiration and intent of the choreographers would have been appreciated.

BWW Reviews: THE SCHOOL OF AMERICAN BALLET'S 2015 WORKSHOP Offers a Mostly Polished and Always Charming Peek at the Upcoming Generation of DancersBWW Reviews: THE SCHOOL OF AMERICAN BALLET'S 2015 WORKSHOP Offers a Mostly Polished and Always Charming Peek at the Upcoming Generation of Dancers
June 2, 2015

SAB's annual Workshop performances have been a treasured staple on NYC dance lovers' calendars ever since 1965 when the legendary Alexandra Danilova, then a faculty member, initiated the iconic spring ritual. The event is not a graduation ceremony, but rather a tantalizing glimpse of what the future of dance may hold. This year, not only the school's most promising advanced students but also a group of prodigiously talented nine to 14-year-olds took the stage in fully costumed performances of excerpts from the New York City Ballet repertory, danced to live orchestral accompaniment.

BWW Reviews: ABT's 75th ANNIVERSARY GALA Served up a Retrospective Feast of Excerpts from the Company's Incomparable RepertoireBWW Reviews: ABT's 75th ANNIVERSARY GALA Served up a Retrospective Feast of Excerpts from the Company's Incomparable Repertoire
May 21, 2015

ABT's 75th Anniversary Gala, a balletomane's dream of a performance on May 18th 2015 at the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center, treated the nearly sold-out audience to a joyous celebration in dance and archival images of the American Ballet Theatre's seven-and-a-half decade reign as 'America's National Ballet Company'. That designation became official with an act of Congress on April 27th 2006, but the troupe founded by Richard Pleasant with Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith as Co-Directors in 1940 had embraced the ethos of this country right from the start.

BWW Reviews: SUZANNE FARRELL, a Guest of LIVE from NYPL, Recounts Her Legendary Ballet CareerBWW Reviews: SUZANNE FARRELL, a Guest of LIVE from NYPL, Recounts Her Legendary Ballet Career
May 14, 2015

Suzanne Farrell, one of the greatest ballerinas of her generation, proved herself to be a charming and thoroughly engaging raconteur when she appeared on the evening of May 12th 2015 as a guest of LIVE from NYPL. The event at the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in NYC was ably hosted by LIVE founder Paul Holdengraber and co-presented with Jennifer Homans' Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University as well as the Friends of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

BWW Reviews: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Showcases Three Minimalist Masterpieces in 'Balanchine Black & White I'BWW Reviews: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Showcases Three Minimalist Masterpieces in 'Balanchine Black & White I'
May 6, 2015

The spring 2015 season of the New York City Ballet at the David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center boasts not one but two programs featuring George Balanchine's minimalist masterpieces that are affectionately referred to as the "leotard ballets" by dancers and devotees alike. On the evening of May 1st, "Balanchine Black & White 1" proved once again that plotless ballets stripped of elaborate sets and costumes do indeed achieve Mr. B's goal of focusing on the movement and the music. What is so remarkable is that each of the three works on the bill, all of them with the dancers in practice clothes, is uniquely compelling. This feast of Mr. B's earliest neoclassical creations holds the audience in thrall from start to finish without ever becoming repetitious.

BWW Reviews: DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM Comes Home to City CenterBWW Reviews: DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM Comes Home to City Center
April 10, 2015

Opening night of Dance Theater of Harlem's 2015 season at City Center began with a curtain speech by Artistic Director Virginia Johnson, who was visibly more excited and confident on this third anniversary of the rebirth of the legendary company than she had been in 2014 when DTH danced at Jazz at Lincoln Center after a nine-year performing hiatus. Her contagious enthusiasm proved to be well founded as the evening progressed with a quadruple bill called 'What's New' that showcased the vastly improved technique and artistry of the 18-member troupe.

BWW Reviews: BALLET WEST Debuts at the Joyce Theater in NYCBWW Reviews: BALLET WEST Debuts at the Joyce Theater in NYC
March 27, 2015

On May 25th 2015, opening night of Ballet West's debut season at the Joyce, three New York premieres and a world premiere showcased the company's admirable command of contemporary ballet. The world-renowned troupe from Salt Lake City does have the classics in its repertoire, but the decision by Artistic Director Adam Sklute to bring his superb dancers to NYC in pieces by four celebrated if sometimes controversial current choreographers was a wise one.

BWW Reviews: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Chases Winter's Chill With a Cheery and Cheeky Double BillBWW Reviews: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Chases Winter's Chill With a Cheery and Cheeky Double Bill
February 27, 2015

New York City Ballet's 'All Balanchine III, Hear the Dance: Italy' features a perfect pairing of pieces that brim with Balanchine's incomparable sense of showmanship. Ballet is an art form, but Mr. B knew that it can also serve as sheer entertainment without losing integrity. Beyond that, he was a master of making us 'see the music, hear the dance', as he put it. This double bill, with works set to scores by great Italian composers, does precisely that.

BWW Reviews: BLOOD ON THE VEIL Celebrates the Often-Maligned Art of Belly DanceBWW Reviews: BLOOD ON THE VEIL Celebrates the Often-Maligned Art of Belly Dance
February 20, 2015

'Blood on the Veil' is a mesmerizing theater piece with the commendable mission of dispelling the misconception that the ancient oriental art of belly dancing is nothing but a dance of seduction. Written, choreographed, and performed by the multi-talented Carol Henning, the performance involves not only dancing but also her passionately delivered monologues laced with humor about her journey from illness to health. Fittingly, Henning's stage name is 'Tandava', which is Sanskrit for the Hindu deity Shiva's dance of destruction and rebirth.

BWW Reviews: NEW YORK CITY BALLET's R+J Mixes Slapstick With TragedyBWW Reviews: NEW YORK CITY BALLET's R+J Mixes Slapstick With Tragedy
February 18, 2015

I've never been a fan of Peter Martins' choreography so I was surprised to find myself moved by the "balcony pas de deux" in Romeo + Juliet, his adaptation for the New York City Ballet of Shakespeare's tragic tale about star-crossed lovers. Sterling Hyltin as Juliet and Robert Fairchild as Romeo, returning to the roles they originated when the ballet had its premiere in 2007, used the beautiful but difficult intertwinings and lifts to convey their youthful passion in a way that was entirely believable to me.

BWW Reviews: The Corps de Ballet Is the Star of the MARIINSKY BALLET's 'Swan Lake' at BAMBWW Reviews: The Corps de Ballet Is the Star of the MARIINSKY BALLET's 'Swan Lake' at BAM
January 19, 2015

On January 16th 2015 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the unparalleled precision of the Mariinsky Ballet's corps in "Swan Lake" was rightfully rewarded with the evening's most thunderous applause. Every tilt of the head, every flick of the wrist, every pose, every hop in arabesque was performed in unison and with perfect musicality. The bevy of Russian ballerinas as Swans put the New York City Ballet's often ragged corps to shame, although the American Ballet Theatre's corps is a close second to that of the St. Petersburg troupe.

BWW Reviews: MR. B'S THE NUTCRACKER Shows Its Age at 60BWW Reviews: MR. B'S THE NUTCRACKER Shows Its Age at 60
December 31, 2014

After the 1954 New York City Ballet premiere of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, the production reigned supreme as the gold standard for the holiday classic even though William Christensen's excellent 1944 version was the first one ever staged in this country. By now, however, countless superb iterations of the ballet have spawned from coast to coast as well as in Alaska and Hawaii. Many of them, in my opinion, are better than Mr. B's. That may be why the matinee I saw on December 27th 2014 at the Koch Theater in Lincoln Center seemed like an obligatory musty relic that had been dragged out of the attic for yet another season.



3