Choreographer and filmmaker Kim Brandstrup’s latest film project is to be shown in the newly refurbished Linbury Theatre as part of Open House London on 22 and 23 September.
Brandstrup’s latest film project, Faces, is an intimate portrait of Carlos Acosta, Alina Cojacaru and Zenaida Yanowsky and catches that magical moment as each listens to the music and prepares to move.
The triptych of short filmed portraits will have its first public screenings during Open House London, when the Royal Opera House opens its doors to reveal the new Linbury Theatre and the installation will run continuously from 10am to 6pm on each day.
Kim Brandstrup, who is Danish but based in London, has been closely associated with The Royal Ballet over the past decade, creating six ballets for the company and its leading soloists on both the main stage and at the Linbury. A training in Film Studies prior to becoming a choreographer has given his ballets a particularly cinematic dimension and he sees film-making as a logical extension of his work. His first film project for the Royal Ballet was Leda and the Swan, commissioned for Deloitte Ignite in 2014 and featured Yanowsky and Tommy Franzen, with the voice of Fiona Shaw.
The inspiration for Faces originates in the daily experiences of the rehearsal room – Brandstrup explains:
Faces is inspired by my enduring pleasure in watching dancers ‘marking’ – going through a choreography in their head while listening to the music. In the studio, from my privileged vantage point only a few feet away from the dancers, I witness in their faces a range of subtle nuances, mysterious emotions, slight changes of mood pass like clouds across their faces as they gently indicate the movement. I have often longed to catch these moments on film.
Faces aims to convey these subtle and elusive moments to the viewer to show how much dancers invest of themselves into their performance.
The film uses François Couperin’s L’âme en peine from Pièces de clavecin taken from Angela Hewitt’s Hyperion Records CD.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.