William Forsythe, to the Telegraph (London), a couple of years ago.
Forsythe says one major inheritance from Balanchine is his use of the ballet position known as epaulement, which involves complex counter rotations of the body, including the shoulders, hips, hands, feet, head.
As he says, "the mechanics of epaulement are what gives ballet its inner transitions. It's essential to a lot of my thinking." He takes this position one step further by what he calls disfocus. The dancers don't gaze out, but "stare up, roll their eyes back." Like a hypnotist might suggest, he asks them to "put your eyes in the back of your head." Their movement becomes "very water-like, shaky, unusual and serpentine". He warns: "Don't try this with too much furniture about."
"Their movement becomes 'very water-like, shaky, unusual and serpentine'." This is exactly what I was thinking when I watched Sylvie onstage last night. Every detail was articulated. Her movement was fluid like water, even in the tiny passages between different positions. With her strength, concentration, and mastery, this lasted throughout the piece. I have never seen that in a Forsythe piece. The contrast with her facility in this form and her partner's served to emphasize her remarkable abilities (although I have seen his work on tape in "Giselle" and other story ballets and admired it.)