Film

Milk Magazine (English) - - CONTENTS - In­ter­view: Aman­dine Grosse – Pho­tos: James Bort

Rise of a star, short film by James Bort, with Dorothée Gil­bert

At the Opéra de Paris, we’ve been for­tu­nate to have dancers who’ve paved the way on the sub­ject of preg­nancy over the past few years.

How did the idea for this short film come about?

A pro­duc­tion com­pany con­tacted my hus­band and sug­gested a fic­tional film loosely based on our own story. They worked a lot on the script to­gether and then the pro­duc­tion com­pany asked me if I’d like to play the lead­ing role.

Was it easy to work on this film with your hus­band?

Yes! We’re used to work­ing to­gether. In fact, that’s how we met [dur­ing the ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign for Repetto]. I’m used to him tak­ing pho­tos of me. He of­ten ac­com­pa­nies me when I dance abroad. Be­ing with him in my first act­ing ex­pe­ri­ence helped me enor­mously. We could talk about what he wanted. I was re­ally quite at home. What’s more, the film was shot in my sec­ond home, the Opéra de Paris!

In this first screen role, you play along­side Catherine Deneuve in a film that’s been short­listed for the Os­cars. Some­thing of a bonus, wasn’t it?

Yes, it was ter­rific! I think I was in­cred­i­bly lucky to make my screen de­but along­side ac­tors of that cal­i­bre. In dance, when one’s part­ner in­ter­prets the role well and gives a lot of him­self, it’s eas­ier for a bal­le­rina to re­spond cor­rectly and ex­press the right feel­ings. With Catherine Deneuve and Pierre De­ladon­champs play­ing op­po­site me, I just needed to lis­ten to them to cap­ture the right mood.

You play a bal­le­rina who’s strug­gling with the idea of telling the com­pany di­rec­tors that she’s preg­nant. Is be­ing preg­nant still a real fear amongst pro­fes­sional dancers?

Less than twenty years ago, hav­ing a child was still a taboo sub­ject. At the Opéra de Paris, we’ve been for­tu­nate to have dancers who’ve paved the way on the sub­ject of preg­nancy over the past few years, and to­day it is much eas­ier. Aurélie Dupont, our dance di­rec­tor, also has chil­dren. She’s a woman, so I think that she has a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of what that ex­pe­ri­ence means. How­ever, for other dancers, in France and abroad, preg­nancy may still re­main prob­lem­atic. I can think of one par­tic­u­lar dancer in Lyon who was fired be­cause she was preg­nant. It is def­i­nitely not a sub­ject that is no longer rel­e­vant.

How do you ap­proach re­turn­ing to dance af­ter hav­ing had a child?

I was sur­prised to see how much the body re­mem­bered. It was more com­pli­cated from a psy­cho­log­i­cal point of view. Some of my au­to­matic re­flexes didn’t func­tion any more. I felt that if I weren’t ex­actly in the axis I had to be, my body wasn’t go­ing to im­me­di­ately re­po­si­tion it­self as eas­ily as it did be­fore. I had to pay great at­ten­tion to that. It was stress­ful!

Have you danced dif­fer­ently since be­com­ing a mother?

I don’t feel that is true in my body, but my artis­tic ma­tu­rity will show that I feel it more. Some­thing very pow­er­ful hap­pened, which means that I do not ap­proach roles in the same way as I did be­fore. And it’s true that, with a child, one’s rest pe­ri­ods are no longer the same as be­fore!

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