Culture / Film

Return to the stage: Sofia Coppola has directed a heavenly film for the New York City Ballet’s digital 2021 Spring Gala

Sofia Coppola New York City Ballet

Wherever we see the name, Coppola, you can be certain that our hearts and minds will follow. A family embedded in creativity and vision, with every new project, we feel a renewed sense of enlightenment. Only a couple of weeks ago, the internet went into a spiral over Gia Coppola's frightening yet satirical trailer for her upcoming film, Mainstream. Now, her aunt and legendary filmmaker, Sofia Coppola, has dropped her own creative delight in the form of a new short film for the New York City Ballet.

Coppola directed the film as a celebration of the New York City Ballet’s return to the stage after a year-long pause due to COVID. Supported by Chanel, the black-and-white film was shot by French cinematographer and The Beguiled’s director of photography Philippe Le Sourd; showcasing the dancers’ journey from intimate rehearsals in the studio to the final on-stage performance at the David H. Koch theatre for the ballet's digital 2021 Spring Gala.

The 24-minute film is a collection of elegant, emotive and abstract solos and duet performances choreographed by City Ballet’s artistic advisor Justin Peck. The most mesmerising moment of course, is the main performance where the dancers erupt in vibrant colours donning blue and white costumes.

Speaking of the film to The New York Times, Coppola shared, “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.”

You can watch the New York City Ballet Spring Gala below, and if you want to skip directly to the film by Sofia Coppola, you'll find the opening moments at around the six minute mark.


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