VIDEO: Souffle Provisoire

Last year I had the honor of working with a close friend and dance maker, Johanna Henritius, and several other good friends, to make a dance film. The concept of this 10-minute video came to her in a dream, and in it she manages to focus on the human elements of dance. This is dance, but with much less of a focus on technicality or acrobatics. This is about capturing true emotions, and not the artifice or bravura we often see.

Three of us in the film dance full-time with Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, so it was tough to fit in the time to film (much less rehearse!), but we made the time we could and attempted to produce something honest and touching.

As a first film project, I’m extremely proud of Johanna and what she achieved through this project, and I wanted to share it with any and all of you that haven’t experienced it yet.

Here’s the teaser:

 

If this intrigues you and you have 1o minutes to spare, check out the whole video at her website. I highly recommend it: http://henritius.com/film.html

14 thoughts on “VIDEO: Souffle Provisoire

  1. lynn archibald

    Hey, thanks.

    So enjoyable. I loved it. Too, great to see you & Anna again!

    Looking forward to another video.

    Life is life!

    Oui. Lynn

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Julia Rowe

    Gorgeous. I especially love the part with you and Anna towards the beginning. So real! There were so many emotions playing across your faces. I also appreciate the endeavor to translate those emotions (love? Longing? Joy? Loss?) into physicality. As dancers, I see this translation of ideas/emotion into movement as our primary goal. Well done!

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    1. Thanks Julia. What was easy about that situation was that we didn’t have to force anything – those are emotions that come easily to us because of our relationship. I wonder how different that scene would look if we didn’t know and love each other so deeply?

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      1. Julia Rowe

        I think that for this kind of intimate and revealing work, a scene takes on the character of the people in it. If you and Anna didn’t know and love each other, the chemistry would be different and therefore the scene would become something else altogether. However, sometimes as dancers we are required to connect with people on stage who we may or may not know on a deep and personal level. I think that the best dancer/actor/performers (i say all three because really we are all dancers and actors and performers) are the ones who can call upon their experiences and emotions to make connections with others on stage and find ways to physically express those connections in a way that the audience can interpret.

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      2. I agree with you. The hard part for us I think is to break through the barriers that we often put up around us to protect ourselves in order to really give something to the audience. Even a little bit of apprehension or tenseness in the performer can be read by the audience, even if they only intuit it, and this leads to a less powerful experience for everyone involved.

        But it can be hard to be completely honest and open while performing, especially if most of our attention is going towards thinking about the steps that we’re performing. This is one reason I see why improv can be powerful in its own way.

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  3. The Accidental Artist

    Beautiful film. I did not read her explanation of intent until after I watched it nor your blog post. I went directly to Johanna’s site and watched it. I had an entirely different idea of the film since you are in a ballet company. So glad I watched it and did not read her idea until afterwards.
    The filmmaker’s matched exactly what my impression was after watching it. At first, I thought… oh no, rolling on the ground and walking around! (Ballet prejudice) I was drawn into the “pas” with you and the other dancer. It became meaningful and the running on the wall~ loved it!!
    Expressive and timeless. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

    1. Thanks! Yeah I think the first section was quite hard to capture in the way that she had hoped (it was her first film, after all) and I think it’s not as effective as the other parts, but what came after was something honest and beautiful. I got choked up again when I re-watched it before posting it. The hard part is convincing people to spend 10 minutes of their busy lives to watch it!

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      1. The Accidental Artist

        I am glad you see that too 🙂 It is a meaningful piece without being trite. I sent it to my daughters who are probably close to the dancers’ ages. I think they will love it too. I can share it on my ballet teacher FB page too. Perhaps that will help!

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  4. I really enjoyed this film, thanks for sharing! Especially the first part – so beautiful and… I don’t know, so real!
    ps: I’ve just read the comments above so now I know why 😉

    Like

    1. Thanks a lot. That’s why I want to get this film out there 🙂 Let me ask you a quick question: did you follow the link to the full video? I’m a bit concerned because even though there have been lots of views to the page, the stats show only a few clicks to the link to the full video this week, and 0 clicks today! Tell me the stats are wrong! 🙂

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      1. Actually there was just a black square in my browser on the place you said a teaser was – guess, some temporary glitch – so I just clicked on your link in the end of the post) I really did! 🙂

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      2. Okay great…ish. I guess I can’t trust the stats. I better take a another look at the teaser link, but I’m glad you saw the video 🙂 Thanks for the info

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