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 Reviews: ON THE TOWN at Broadway's Lyric Theater Is a Delight from Start to FinishBWW Reviews: ON THE TOWN at Broadway's Lyric Theater Is a Delight from Start to Finish
October 24, 2014

The most recent revival of 'On the Town', the 1944 smash hit based on Jerome Robbins' 'Fancy Free' ballet about three sailors on 24-hour shore leave in NYC, is first-rate on all counts. Right from the moment that the booming bass-baritone voice of Phillip Boykin joins the audience singing 'The Star Spangled Banner' as he strolls down an aisle, the show captivates with professionalism and energy that are sustained throughout the evening.

BWW Reviews: PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET Offers NYC Dancegoers a Last Chance to See the Exquisite Carla Körbes
October 13, 2014

Far and away the highlight on opening night of the Pacific Northwest Ballet's five-day return engagement at NYC's Joyce on October 8th 2014 was the soul-stirring and remarkably supple performance by Carla Korbes. The ballerina, who will retire at the end of the 2014-2015 season, is a mere 33 years old. Watching her dance with Jerome Tisserand in a preview of Justin Peck's "Debonair" to an alternately playful and poignant score by George Anthell was pure delight. The ballet is slated to premiere next month in Seattle and served as the closer for the NYC triple bill.

BWW Reviews: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Celebrates the Storied BALANCHINE-STRAVINSKY CollaborationBWW Reviews: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Celebrates the Storied BALANCHINE-STRAVINSKY Collaboration
October 3, 2014

On the first ever World Ballet Day, October 1st 2014, I postponed watching the video stream of five top ballet companies in favor of attending what turned out to be a mesmerizing mixed bill featuring Balanchine ballets to the music of Stravinsky at the Koch Theater in Lincoln Center. YouTube can wait for me to catch up on the video stream later, but being in the audience at a live performance is always a one-time experience never to be recaptured except in the mind's eye.

BWW Reviews: Wheeldon's AFTER THE RAIN Caps Day-Long SHINNYO LANTERN FLOATING FOR PEACEBWW Reviews: Wheeldon's AFTER THE RAIN Caps Day-Long SHINNYO LANTERN FLOATING FOR PEACE
September 23, 2014

On September 21st 2014 at Lincoln Center, Wendy Whelan and Craig Hall delivered a soul stirring al fresco performance of the pas de deux from Christopher Wheeldon's 'After the Rain' to the haunting music of Arvo Part. The performance by the pair of New York City Ballet dancers was one of the offerings during the evening portion of the free, day-long Buddhist ceremony called the Shinnyo Lantern Floating for Peace.

BWW Reviews: Wheeldon's ALICE Gets a Score of 'Dance 10, Story 3'BWW Reviews: Wheeldon's ALICE Gets a Score of 'Dance 10, Story 3'
September 12, 2014

On September 9th 2014, opening night of the NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA's six-day run at the Koch Theater in Lincoln Center presented by the Joyce Theater Foundation, I found myself enchanted by most of Christopher Wheeldon's choreography for the evening-length production of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". I was also delighted overall with the inventive score by Joby Talbott as well as the elaborate costumes and sets by Bob Crowley. The dancing was first rate, too. What wasn't so wonderful was the silly love story that dramaturge Nicholas Wright felt compelled to introduce into Lewis Carroll's deservedly iconic childhood tale of a plucky young heroine off on her own for a great adventure in dreamland.

BWW Reviews: THE BOLSHOI BALLET Finishes a Sold-Out Lincoln Center Festival Engagement With a Lumbering SPARTACUSBWW Reviews: THE BOLSHOI BALLET Finishes a Sold-Out Lincoln Center Festival Engagement With a Lumbering SPARTACUS
July 29, 2014

Returning to NYC after a nine-year hiatus, the storied Bolshoi Ballet danced to nearly sold-out houses night after night at the Koch Theater during the 2014 Lincoln Center Festival in July. The evening of July 25th, when I saw the company's largely turgid production of "Spartacus", was no exception. Other reviewers had already panned the company's first two ballets of the warhorse repertoire for the run, "Swan Lake" and "Don Quixote". None other than Alistair Macaulay of The New York Times wrote on July 16th that the Bolshoi "seems keen to prove that it has reverted to the ghastly artistic torpor it enjoyed in the last two decades of the Soviet era."

BWW Reviews: BOSTON BALLET Triumphs at the Close of Its 50th Anniversary Season During First Ever Visit to the Big AppleBWW Reviews: BOSTON BALLET Triumphs at the Close of Its 50th Anniversary Season During First Ever Visit to the Big Apple
July 3, 2014

On June 27th 2014 at the Koch Theatre in Lincoln Center during The Boston Ballet's first ever engagement in New York City, the company proved to be better than the New York City Ballet at dancing Balanchine. I know I'm not alone in holding that opinion because I overheard several people seated near me express the same sentiment during the enthusiastic applause for Symphony in Three Movements. The principals and soloists were superb, but the corps de ballet was the true star of the show. In particular, the follow-up movements that flowed flawlessly down a long diagonal line of dancers were mesmerizing. Mr. B, who helped bestow the Ford Foundation funding that allowed E. Virginia Williams to found the company in 1963, would surely have been proud.

BWW Reviews: THE SCHOOL OF AMERICAN BALLET Celebrates 50 Years of Workshop PerformancesBWW Reviews: THE SCHOOL OF AMERICAN BALLET Celebrates 50 Years of Workshop Performances
June 9, 2014

On June 3rd 2014, The School of American Ballet's 50th annual Workshop Performance at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Lincoln Center once again proved that Balanchine was right when he famously said "But first a school". That remark was Mr. B's response after Lincoln Kirstein invited him to come to the United States to co-found a ballet company in 1933. Eight decades later, as evidenced by the overall high level of talent and artistry on stage, SAB continues to deserve its reputation as this country's foremost pre-professional training ground for ballet dancers versed in the Balanchine style.

BWW Reviews: THE MEN DANCERS, PLUS! Celebrates the Life of the Legendary FREDERIC FRANKLINBWW Reviews: THE MEN DANCERS, PLUS! Celebrates the Life of the Legendary FREDERIC FRANKLIN
June 2, 2014

A roll call of dance greats - performers, directors, critics, and historians - took the stage one after the other at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts in New York City on the evening of May 30th 2014 to share their memories of one of the greatest of them all, Frederic Franklin.

BWW Reviews: American Ballet Theatre Delights With Gallic-Flavored Highjinks in DON QUIXOTEBWW Reviews: American Ballet Theatre Delights With Gallic-Flavored Highjinks in DON QUIXOTE
May 20, 2014

On the rain-soaked evening of May 16th 2014, ABT delivered a mood-boosting performance of 'Don Quixote' for a full house of grateful dancegoers at the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center. Dazzling Gallic-flavored dancing and full-throttle comedy to the music of Minkus helped to push dire flash flood warnings out of the minds of many in the audience. I heard plenty of comments during intermissions by people who said that driving in from the suburbs or sloshing through sidewalk puddles was more than worth the trouble. I agreed!

BWW Reviews: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Delights With a Varied Robbins Triple BillBWW Reviews: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Delights With a Varied Robbins Triple Bill
May 14, 2014

The All Robbins program offered this spring season by New York City Ballet is a testament to the range and depth of the choreographer's genius. 'Glass Pieces', the 1983 work to the driving rhythms of music by Philip Glass, is an ideal opener with its masterful blend of postmodern and classical movement styles that call to mind the pulsating urgency of urban life.

BWW Reviews: LIMON DANCE COMPANY Offers Something Old and Something NewBWW Reviews: LIMON DANCE COMPANY Offers Something Old and Something New
May 7, 2014

A judicious mix of now-classic Limon works from the 1950s and 1960s along with pieces by current choreographers made for a superb evening of dance on Friday, May 3rd 2014 at the Joyce. For me, Limon's decades-old masterworks have stood the test of time. Not only that, but I applaud artistic director Carla Maxwell for choosing to keep them alive for today's dancegoers. As I always used to tell my ballet students, we can't hang our history on a wall in a museum. The only way to preserve our past is for each new generation of dancers to be adept at performing the entire range of what has gone before as well as what is being created in the present.

BWW Reviews: DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM Celebrates 45 Years After Coming Back from the BrinkBWW Reviews: DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM Celebrates 45 Years After Coming Back from the Brink
April 30, 2014

Dance Theatre of Harlem's 2014 run at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the second New York season after a nine-year absence, drew to a satisfying close on the afternoon of Sunday, April 27th with a well-chosen triple bill. The beloved troupe, America's first African American ballet company, was forced to go on hiatus in 2004 when it announced its $2.3 million debt. Now under the able artistic direction of Virginia Johnson, who was a DTH principal ballerina for 28 years, the resurrected national treasure is dedicated to carrying on the mission of founders Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook to 'present a ballet company of African-American and other racially diverse artists who perform the most demanding repertory at the highest level of quality.'

BWW Reviews: BALLET HISPANICO Offers Contemporary Dance with a Latin Flavor at the JoyceBWW Reviews: BALLET HISPANICO Offers Contemporary Dance with a Latin Flavor at the Joyce
April 18, 2014

Opening night of Ballet Hispanico's 2014 spring season at the Joyce on April 15th once again featured the fascinating fusion of Latin themes with contemporary movement that has become Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro's trademark during his four years at the helm.

BWW Reviews: YOUTH AMERICA GRAND PRIX Comes of Age With Grace, Artistry, and ProfessionalismBWW Reviews: YOUTH AMERICA GRAND PRIX Comes of Age With Grace, Artistry, and Professionalism
April 14, 2014

On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Youth America Grand Prix, known to all as YAGP, the international competition founded by former Bolshoi principals Larissa and Gennadi Saveliev offered a three-evening celebration at the Koch from April 9th to 11th 2014 that completely converted this former naysayer into a diehard fan. All of my complaints from 2012 and 2013 have been addressed.

BWW Reviews: THE SCHOOL AT STEPS Draws a Crowd for an Injury Prevention WorkshopBWW Reviews: THE SCHOOL AT STEPS Draws a Crowd for an Injury Prevention Workshop
April 8, 2014

On the evening of Sunday, April 6th 2014, an Injury Prevention Workshop wrapped up The Complete Dancer Series for the 2013-2014 academic year at The School at Steps. At $10 per ticket with student discounts, the event attracted an impressively large audience of parents, dance teachers, and dance students. Many of the children looked to be as young as eight or nine. They were by and large interested and attentive, with hands waving eagerly in hopes of getting a chance to use one of the "Magic Circles" during a Pilates demonstration or ask questions during the Q&A session. The kids were also thrilled to receive swag bags with items such as posters, resistance bands, article reprints, and hair accessories from Bunheads.

BWW Reviews: BALLET DU GRAND THEATRE DE GENEVE Returns to the Joyce With a New York PremiereBWW Reviews: BALLET DU GRAND THEATRE DE GENEVE Returns to the Joyce With a New York Premiere
March 27, 2014

The evening of March 25th 2014 was opening night for a six-day run at the Joyce Theater of 'Glory', a mostly glorious offering choreographed by Greek-born Andonis Foniadakis for the Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve. A press release referred to the piece as 'an evening-length work' but that depends on your definition of an evening at the theater. 'Glory' is only about an hour long and is performed, wisely, without an intermission. Interrupting the action would have been a mistake. Even so, programming for adults rarely lasts a mere 60 minutes. The company might have been better off giving us a double bill, although to be fair the tickets are modestly priced at $10 to $49 and $26 to $37 for Joyce Theater members.

BWW Reviews: PAUL TAYLOR'S 1982 'Mercuric Tidings' Trumps His 2014 PremiereBWW Reviews: PAUL TAYLOR'S 1982 'Mercuric Tidings' Trumps His 2014 Premiere
March 24, 2014

On the evening of March 20th 2014, as part of the Diamond Anniversary celebration of the Paul Taylor Dance Company at the Koch Theater, the troupe offered a triple bill that included a recent world premiere and an enduring favorite from 1982. The first two offerings, choreographed in 2012 and 2013 respectively, earned only tepid applause from everyone in the audience including me. The closing piece, on the other hand, rightfully received a nearly thunderous ovation and I was clapping as enthusiastically as the rest of the dancegoers. I only hope that this disparity between the work that was choreographed over three decades ago and those more newly created is not an indication that Taylor, at 83, is no longer turning out the top quality dances that secured him a place in the pantheon of great American modern dance pioneers.

BWW Reviews: LES BALLETS DE MONTE CARLO Brings Jean-Christophe Maillot's Darkly Compelling Adaptation of 'Swan Lake' to NYCBWW Reviews: LES BALLETS DE MONTE CARLO Brings Jean-Christophe Maillot's Darkly Compelling Adaptation of 'Swan Lake' to NYC
March 17, 2014

I'm not a fan of the fact that standing ovations, once reserved for truly superb performances, have become almost routine in NYC. Often, in spite of not being able to see the curtain calls while everyone in front of me is up and blocking my view, I remain stubbornly in my seat if I feel that plain old clapping is sufficient. Yet on the evening of Friday, March 15th 2014 at City Center, I was on my feet with the rest of the audience to applaud Les Ballets de Monte Carlo's excellent performance of choreographer-director Jean-Christophe Maillot's "LAC - after Swan Lake". The ballet premiered in 2011 but the all-too-brief run from March 14th to 16th this year, celebrating Maillot's 20th anniversary with Monte Carlo, was the first chance NYC dancegoers have had to see this magnificent production. That's probably more superlatives than I've ever included in the first paragraph of any review!

BWW Reviews: THE RED DRESS Brings the Dance Artistry of China to the KochBWW Reviews: THE RED DRESS Brings the Dance Artistry of China to the Koch
March 7, 2014

For the third year, China Arts and Entertainment Group is treating NYC dancegoers to an all-too-limited engagement of a lavish and exquisitely performed dance theater piece at the Koch Theater in Lincoln Center. Opening night of 'The Red Dress' on Thursday March 6th 2014 will be followed by performances on the evenings of March 7th and 8th and a matinee on March 9th. Don't miss this chance to see superbly trained dancers, gorgeous costumes, immaculate ensemble work, ingenious stagecraft, and an enigmatic but satisfying story line. The title refers to the fact that Chinese brides traditionally wear red because it is a strong color that brings good luck. Yet the heroine of this drama seems never to have her dream wedding come true. The musical accompaniment includes some singing in Chinese but you won't need a translation to understand the plot. The universal language of dance tells all.



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