Exclusive Film Release: Watch Los Angeles Ballet's Magnus Christoffersen in "The Dancer"
It goes without saying: We love dance films. Particularly when their creation is inspired by dancers themselves. When Royal Danish Ballet soloist Magnus Christoffersen, currently with Los Angeles Ballet, approached filmmaker Jason Silva with an idea in mind, Silva knew this project was meant to be. They brought in Los Angeles Ballet principal Tigran Sargsyan to choreograph. The trio’s dream-like, atmospheric collaboration, titled The Dancer, is set to a sweeping score by Ludovico Enaudi and focuses in on one dancer’s experience, a bit reminiscent of Sergei Polunin in the now viral video “Take Me to Church.”
While many moments in the film are deeply emotive, we particularly love 2:50, when Christoffersen leaps off the stage as if it can’t contain his energy any longer, expanding our view of the space. For someone alternating between dancing on carpet and concrete, we’re pretty impressed by his many virtuosic jumps and turns (though we don’t recommend trying that at home.)
“We all worked hand-in-hand to craft a narrative and to build this character we call ‘The Dancer’,” Silva told Pointe. They based the character on Christoffersen’s experience coming to terms with his artistry while growing up in Denmark. This is evident in The Dancer’s visible anguish, particularly starting at 3:32. The trio filmed in Silva’s loft near downtown Los Angeles (we know, we’re having apartment envy too). The location adds a layer of personal nostalgia for Silva. He and his wife had just held their wedding in the space; they figured that with the furniture already cleared out it would double as the perfect spot to shoot. According to Silva, The Dancer was filmed “in a way that allowed the performance to breathe, as though we were capturing the moment (and seeing the moment) in real time.”