This Short Film Will Transport You into a Parisian Midnight
Brittany Cavaco in "Until Midnight" (Claire Morris, courtesy Cavaco)
Hey, want to take a quick trip to Paris for the weekend? No, we're serious. There's this brief but beautiful ballet flick called Until Midnight, it stars Brittany Cavaco (a freelance ballerina currently guesting with English National Ballet) and former Paris Opéra Ballet principal Sébastien Thill, and it's everything your lackluster weekend needs.
And the story behind the short film's creation is almost as cool as the ethereal dancing on spookily gorgeous Parisian streets that you'll be seeing in a moment. According to Cavaco, all of the dancing was improv. "At every location we went to, Sébastien and I took a few moments to come up with a loose outline of steps so that we both could be in unison," she says. "It was important to make sure that the steps would flow and move with the storyline and look technical on camera. It wasn't hard to feel inspired surrounded by Paris's history, art, culture, and immaculate architecture."
The team decided to shoot the footage last October, during Cavaco's weeklong layoff after ENB's fall season. And now for some real talk from Cavaco: "The only downside was that it was quite cold! Shooting this film in such iconic places around Paris was absolutely surreal. Dancing in the Louvre at night actually took my breath away. Since it was so late at night, there were no other people there, and it felt as if the entire historical palace was my stage to dance. As magical as it was, dancing outdoors was actually quite a challenge. Trying to do chaînés on cobblestone and piqué turns on wood and uneven concrete made for a lot of tripping—and a good amount of funny outtakes."
But it wasn't all goofy missteps, either. The clip follows a long-retired dancer as she reunites with her lost love for one fleeting supernatural moment, and Cavaco says the poignant depiction of loss has resonated with more than a few fans: "I have gotten so many messages, emails and comments from both dancers and non-dancers on how this film moved and inspired them," she says. "Some people shared that they recently lost a loved one and this film gave them hope. Others expressed how they once were dancers and they related so strongly to that desire Louise has to relish the moments where she could dance once again. It just makes me so happy to know that this film and our dancing has impacted people, to me that is what dance and expression is all about."
Want more of this belle époque ballet amazingness? We've got some good news for you: "I'm really excited to head back to Paris this summer to make the prequel to this film," Cavaco reveals. "I don't want to give too much away but it will explore Louise and Jean Pierre's love and life as young dancers in Paris." CAN'T. WAIT.