Student Blog: Freshmen focus on Forsythe

September 18, 2016


Professor William Forsythe works with BFA student Sophia Oddi | Photo by Carolyn DiLoreto

By Ausia Jones

One word to describe this week working with the legendary William Forsythe would be…thought-provoking, rigorous, unexpectedly comfortable, innovative, mind-boggling, demanding. Yeah, there’s absolutely no way to describe such a phenomenal experience with just a single word. This week’s experiences were so fulfilling that trying to describe them in one word would never do them justice. From the moment that I was accepted into USC Kaufman, I’ve been bubbling with anticipation at the thought of just being in the same room with such a brilliant mind. The experience was even more incredible than I could have ever imagined.

Walking into the studio, I felt excited and honored, but honestly had no clue what to expect. But from the moment that I walked into the room, with hundreds of butterflies in my stomach, his demeanor and energy immediately evoked a sense of calm. His presence evoked an immediate level of comfort that allowed me to let down any walls and be completely open to the process. With my eyes and mind wide open, I listened as Mr. Forsythe challenged us to trust ourselves. I think I can speak for most of my freshman class peers when I say he has completely flipped the way we view the art of movement, in ways that none of us could have ever imagined.

This week we took to the studios like sponges, soaking up every bit of knowledge shared with us. We were never able to get too comfortable with a concept or task given, because as soon as you began to embrace one concept, he was immediately on to the next. He talked about using his “power” (but not overusing it) to push us, treating every move like an “event,” and making sure each movement had thoughtful intention. Through every moment of this experience, I felt like I was learning something new about myself and my body–pushing my body beyond limits. At one point he said, “Just smile, it releases endorphins that make you happier.” Who would have thought such a simple act would impact the way you move or the way you take class?

As a freshman here at Kaufman, I can tell you that we often talk about the new movement. Well, in my few short weeks here at Kaufman, every opportunity has been surreal. If the remainder of my time here is even half as enlightening as these first few weeks have been, I’m one hundred percent sure that the amazing talent here will definitely bring a new way of viewing movement. We will introduce the world to dance as it’s never been seen before…and I’m extremely honored to be a part of this remarkable process and the New Movement. Dance On!