Forsythe's monster

If William Forsythe's Three Atmospheric Studies, currently in residence at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, has made you pine for more from the American-born, German-based artist, next week he presents You Made Me a Monster at the Baryshnikov Arts Center. The performance installation, part of Art Is Otherwise, features dance and voice in a sonic environment filled with skeletal sculptures. For the choreographer, the 50-minute work, which premiered in Venice in 2005, was inspired by an incident involving his wife, who died of cancer. In a recent interview, he explained how Monster was sparked by a specific incident.

"On Christmas morning, two months before my wife died, her best friend's boyfriend had given her a present. We thought, We'll wait till the end [to open it] because it's really big; we were sitting around with the kids, and she opens the package and it's a life-size cardboard model of a human skeleton. You cannot imagine the pall that fell over us at that moment. There could not have been anything more inappropriate. What do you say to [children] who are smart enough to understand that kind of thing? What do you say to Mom? It was a very uncomfortable and horrendous situation. I didn't know what to do with that model after she died. Over the years I kept thinking about this and that and finally I began to connect all the pieces of the model together without looking at the instructions; I was trying to think of what they were. I realized that they were models of grief, and that's the piece, basically. It tells that story."