The Barre Project

Many people thought that the world of dance, due to the pandemic, was destined to die.

It was a concrete risk. It might have happened if we’d simply let it disappear. However, the dance world is full of people with huge determination and extraordinary passion. It is thanks to this peculiarities, that in a short period of time, the dancers realized that they were able to communicate emotions and feelings to their audience, despite being “locked” behind a screen. In any case, they understood it was the only way to keep up with what they love: dancing.

Thus was born the film “the barre project” conceived by the American dancer and choreographer William Forsythe, together with the director of the New York City Ballet, Tiler Peck, and the dancers Lex Ishimoto, Brooklyn Mack and Roman Mejia.

The project consists of a zoom show, in which the dancers dance using only the bar, the main element for any dancer. They build a real choreography, starting from the usual heating exercises, all the way to the performance itself. Music, movements and lights merge and give life to something extraordinary, capable of reaching directly the heart of every viewer. The background music was written by James Blake, with whom Forsythe had previously cooperated for “Blake Works I”, a Paris Opéra’s Ballet.

The show consists of five short episodes shot on the empty stage of “La Mirada Theatre”, California, on September 23, 2020, two months after the idea of the project came up.

The film premiered on March 25, 2021, starting off with the following sentence: “For all dancers who have supported each other with a bar, in any form”. During the first part of the film, in fact, the dancers performed right next to the ballet bar, treating her like a fellow dancer, but at the same time highlighting that none of the them depends on the bar to perform a movement, even the most complicated ones. Then followed the solos of the entire cast and duets, to conclude the film with a group choreography in which the four dancers moved in unison and surprised everyone.

“The barre project” is definitely a masterpiece, which proves once again that passion is enough to create something extraordinary and to overcome fears and difficulties.

Aurora Colasanto 3AL