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 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.

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.



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