Classes & Workshops

Space and Time

(A William Forsythe-Inspired Master Class)

with Tony Rizzi, Former Frankfurt Ballet Principal Dancer


Saturday, June 29, 2019, 3-6 PM


The Dance Complex

536 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

Studio 3



*Cash and Checks accepted at door

*Checks should be made out to Tony Rizzi


Rizzi’s workshop, Space and Time, will be a way of exploring the world and process of the choreographic works of William Forsythe, former Director of Ballet Frankfurt where Rizzi danced for 20 years and was his artistic advisor. The workshop will start out with a ballet class of around an hour, approaching ballet from a new angle. Looking at ballet not as form but as description of space and time. Already this approach will guide you easier into the Forsythe’s ideas of improvisation. We then venture into learning some movements from the repertoire. After learning the set material, the dancers are asked to perform many different transformative operations on the phrases. This allows the student to see the material not as a fixed picture of a dance but rather more like a 3-dimensional sculpture that can be taken apart, examined in detail, remolded and put back together in different configurations. Improvisation was used greatly in creating Forsythe ballets, even if eventually choreographed. This opening of the creative mind is so helpful for all kinds of dance in the 21century. 

  • It is required to have a good strength in the ballet vocabulary but not 100 percent necessary. 

  • Ballet shoes, socks, or socks over ballet shoes (socks over ballet shoes can sometimes help add another dimension to the dance) are required. No bare feet. 

  •  Come with an open mind and no fear of the unknown.

Tony photo.jpg

Originally from Dedham, MA, Tony Rizzi studied at the Boston Ballet School under the guidance of Bruce Wells and Richard Dickenson, before joining Ballett Frankfurt in 1985. He has lived in Frankfurt ever since, where he was an assistant to William Forsythe, as well as a principal dancer for 19 years, helping redefine contemporary ballet. He has performed most of the lead roles in the Forsythe repertoire, notably in “Self Meant to Govern,” “Second Detail,” “Enemy in the Figure,” and as an actor in “Kammer/Kammer.” He was nominated as Best Dancer in Germany two years in a row in Ballet Internationals. He has also performed/collaborated on and off for twenty years as well in the works by the Belgian avant guard artist /choreographer Jan Fabre. Most recently in “Mount glorify the cult of tragedy,” a 24-hour performance, playing Hercules, Medea and Tiresius. HIs first work as a choreographer, in 1987 Cockroach Nightmare for thesecond company of Boston Ballet, was voted one of the top ten dance events of that year. For his own company, Tony Rizzi and the Bad Habits, he has created many works that have gone on to tour internationaly, to great critical and audience acclaim, including SnowmanSinking, a performance created with his mother and later taken over by Penny Arcade, NYC Performance Art Legend. “Judy was Angry,” staring Belgian actress Els Deuceklier, was nominated by Eva Elizabeth Fischer of the Sud Deutsche Zeitung as most innovative production of that year and Rizzi as best young choreographer. His work, with a strong feeling for social commentary, combines the use of textand films and photographs as well as dance. At the age of 23 Bruce Marks asked him to be guest teacher to the Boston Ballet Company and since then has been a freelance ballet and improvisation teacher, guesting with companies like Pina Bausch Company, La Scala inMilan, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ohio Ballet, Impulstanz Festival in Vienna, Staatsballett un Gaertnerplatz Munich and the Forsythe Company.

Lucy Warren-whitman