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Watch: Sofia Coppola's Short Film for the New York Ballet 2021


Justin Peck is the resident choreographer and artistic adviser at City Ballet. Though his greatest challenge as of late is trying to lure people back to the ballet now that the COVID-19 pandemic is winding down and things are starting to go back to normal. His solution? Send an email to award-winning filmmaker Sofia Coppola and ask her to collaborate to which the famed daughter of director Francis Ford Coppola agreed to. Something that surprised Peck which he spoke more about alongside Coppola in a new interview with The New York Times, saying "We were a little nervous to reach out to her. She was so responsive and excited about it, and warm to speak to that it just turned into a wonderful process.”

Coppola's new 24-minute short film, which recently debuted at the New York City Ballet Spring Gala, is meant to demonstrate the beauty of the choreography and grace of the ballet, though she admits that filming the artform required her to expand her knowledge and abilities:

“I’ve enjoyed going to the ballet over the years, but I have never filmed anything with a dance component. And my shooting style is pretty stationary, so to do something where there was so much movement, I had to think about using the camera differently. What was very helpful was getting Justin’s films, shot on his phone, of his rehearsals with [principal dancer Anthony Huxley]. It was interesting to see his sense of movement.”

She also added:

“The challenge for me was to convey the feeling of seeing live dance. A lot of dance is filmed in a very flat, standard way. But getting close up, which is thrilling in rehearsal, doesn’t always translate onto film either. I had to move the camera much more than I am used to, and try to give the feel of experiencing a live performance from different vantage points.”

The short film has now been made available online though it will only be so until May 20th. Check it out below:

Stay tuned!

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