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Forsythe to Leave Frankfurt Ballet

September 4, 2002

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BERLIN (AP) _ American choreographer William Forsythe will not renew his contract with the Frankfurt Ballet after it expires in 2004, a spokeswoman for the company said Wednesday.

Forsythe, a 52-year-old New Yorker, turned the ballet into one of Europe’s most acclaimed modern dance groups after taking over in 1984. He told the city of his decision and will serve out the remainder of his contract, ballet spokeswoman Vera Battis-Reese said.

Forsythe said in a statement that as the director of ``a large municipal institution,″ he could no longer achieve his professional goals.

``Simply said, I wish to pursue a more independent organizational path,″ the statement said. ``I must admit, however, that it is difficult to leave a body of work, my life’s work, behind.″

Reports earlier this year said city leaders were mulling whether to replace the ballet with a classical dance troupe as it tries to cut the city budget.

In June, Forsythe said he would fight to secure the ballet’s future, saying budget-trimming could rob Frankfurt of a leading cultural attraction.

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