It seems impossible for Harry Potter to bewitch its audiences even more than in the three previous films (which combined grossed a total of more than $2.6 billion worldwide) but for dance fans, the upcoming Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire from Warner Bros. may be the best yet. On November 18, moviegoers can see the heroic Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), brilliant Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and lovable Ronald Weasley (Rupert Grint) swap their broomsticks for dancing shoes to attend the Yule Ball, a dance held by Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in honor of the international Triwizard Tournament, a competition of daring magical feats.
To create this major scene, British choreographer Wayne McGregor—who also choreographed the 1997 film Bent and is artistic director of London-based Random Dance—worked with roughly 200 actors, some of whom had never learned a choreographed dance before. McGregor notes, though, that “everyone was really a beginner,” because rather than teaching a classic tango or waltz, he worked closely with director Mike Newell and composer Patrick Doyle to invent something new and slightly twisted. “I wanted to make dances that you would recognize, but were a little bizarre…very Harry Potter,” McGregor explains.
For two intense weeks, the cast worked hard to pick up the choreography, rehearsing anywhere on the set they could find space. According to McGregor, Radcliffe, much like his character, was a standout. “Daniel had to rehearse around his filming schedule, which was crazy, and he [danced] it brilliantly—a natural,” says McGregor.
Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright) and Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) also danced a terrific tango during the week-long filming, but the scene didn’t make the final cut, McGregor says. However, he does hint about the dancing skills of the story’s two endearing half-giants: “Look out for Madame Maxime and Hagrid—wild!”