Love Tomorrow, Raindance Film Festival | Dance reviews, news & interviews
Love Tomorrow, Raindance Film Festival
A delicate, unobvious film about two dancers scoops Raindance's UK Feature award
For Darcey Bussell it’s Baryshnikov in The Turning Point; for Carlos Acosta it’s The Red Shoes. No one at last week's starry premiere of Love Tomorrow at the Raindance Film Festival, when I asked them for their favourite dance film, mentioned Black Swan. Films about the ballet life are rareties - are the memorable ones those that are realistic about their strenuous world or are they the expressionistic shockers that let rip with the curtains and OTT fantasies?
Indeed, it’s unusual to see a dance film being made at all, let alone picked for a celebrated indie film festival like Raindance this year - and still less being named yesterday the best UK Feature of the 2012 festival. But Love Tomorrow, which is now seeking a distributor for general release, has a genuine delicacy and elusiveness that makes it a naturalistic riposte to the merchants of OTT grand Guignol.
The risk looks considerable in casting two ballet dancers in the leading roles, rather than actors who dance
Where Black Swan purported lasciviously to be about the jungle life inside a great world ballet company, this is a story about two people who happen to be dancers, neither of them employed at the moment. One has had her hopes broken by injury, the other by the natural transience of existence for the itinerant young dancer for hire. Oriel, a mercurial Cuban lothario, has a great brush-off line: “My visa expires in two weeks, so I probably won’t see you again.” Delivered with a rueful twinkle, it captures the allure of a life where people are constantly in transit, in their imaginations and in reality, forming professional intimacies unique to dancing, but on which not too many personal stakes should be placed.
The risk looks considerable in casting two ballet dancers in the leading roles, rather than actors who dance: for this is not an orthodox love story but one where both Oriel and Eva have arresting secrets to keep. They meet in passing on the tube escalator, he swarthy and twinklingly on the make, she ash-blonde, with a shuttered face. The story blooms into what appears to be a predictable romance, sun melting ice, but then takes a sudden and thought-provoking turn, which makes a large new set of demands of the leading performers where their skills at evocative body language leap to the fore.
Cindy Jourdain (pictured above right) danced until 2010 with the Royal Ballet and English National Ballet. She was a notably impressive actress among dancers (dance-goers might recall her heartbreaking Empress Elizabeth in Mayerling), and here her face, pale as snow, seems loaded with bones and shadows, huge eyes dark with perpetual sorrow as the camera almost intrusively closes in, seeking to find in her reticent expressions what that chilling grief is.
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