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CULTURE | 16.02.2017

Let’s Dance: Benjamin Millepied in „Reset“

“Softer is pointless”, says Benjamin Millepied and goes on vigorously massaging the heel of an injured dancer. It is scenes like this, filmed behind the scenes of the Paris Opera Ballet, that make the documentary movie “Reset” (French title: “Relève”) a fascinating work about top-class art, dedication and sacrifice, and the struggle with theatre bureaucracy. It is also not least due to Millepied himself.

The choreographer and dancer was responsible for the dance sequences of the psychological thriller “Black Swan”, married its lead actor Natalie Portman shortly afterwards, and left his position as director of the Paris Opera Ballet after only one and a half years – in which the documentary „Relève / Reset“ was filmed. Allegedly because he was frustrated about budget issues and other stumbling blocks of the venerable cultural institution.

The exciting documentary “Reset” by Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai now shows how great his creative influence was nevertheless. The film directors closely followed Millepied and his ballet company during the rehearsals of his ballet “Clear, Loud, Bright, Forward”, which inspired visitors and critics with its combination of modern and traditional elements.

And what happened with Benjamin Millepied after the documentary? Oh, he keeps on dancing and darting through the art world – as founder and choreographer of the L.A. Dance Project, as soon-to-be father of two children, as collector of design objects of the 1990s – and with the recent premiere of “Daphnis et Chloé” at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin.

The only drawback to watching “Reset / Relève”, however, is that this wonderful documentary will make you want to dance yourself. So while you’re lounging on your sofa, make sure to use your iPad to research the next studio with a barre workout. Our fashion tip for working out: cosy cashmere jogging bottoms and a poncho that keeps stressed muscles wonderfully warm after the gym.