Linked below are two separate videos of Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project performing Hearts and Arrows. The first is on stage, and the second is in a short film set on the dried out LA River. The latter gives the work a fascinating new energy. Film and dance compliment each other under the right direction, and Millepied did a phenomenal job adapting his work for the camera.
Short films are important for dance companies because they draw the attention of the general public. Reminiscent of music videos, they bring dance to the world of people who don’t have the time or motivation to go buy a ticket for a live performance. New York City Ballet has a wildly popular Youtube channel, as does Prix De Laussanne and the Youth America Grand Prix. Those last two use their channels to document their respective international events—the videos serve as a livestream of sorts (both competitions also have a real live stream of their competition available), documenting the experiences of certain dancers or master classes.
Having a video presence on the internet is an ingredient for recognition and success. A dance can be viewed millions of times or even go viral (take that Take Me To Church video, for example) and, as a result, the dancer or company goes viral. But, as these two LA Dance Project videos suggest, theres a big difference in impact between making a film and simply filming the stage.
Hearts and Arrows: