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Millepied's Dance of Dreams - August 13, 2020

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Dance of Dreams is a new dance film by Benjamin Millepied for San Francisco Ballet, featuring choreography by Justin Peck, Dwight Rhoden, Janie Taylor, and Christopher Wheeldon for six SF Ballet dancers in some of the Bay Area’s most iconic locations. Set to Scene d’Amour by Bernard Hermann from Vertigo, the music is individually recorded by SF Ballet musicians and mixed by Music Director Martin West.


Director: Benjamin Millepied
Choreographers: Justin Peck, Dwight Rhoden, Janie Taylor, Christopher Wheeldon
Composer: Bernard Herrmann


World Premiere: August 13, 2020 at 12 noon U.S. PDT


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Now live -

SFB's Dance of Dreams


The wind, and Bernard Herrmann's wonderful “Scène d’Amour” music from Vertigo, are co-stars of this short production. My immediate thought upon watching this film was that a much longer, complete ballet based on Hermann's music was definitely possible (and music from various films could be used as needed). Like Tomasson's Nutcracker, the scenery could refer to various buildings/areas of San Francisco - that would be fun, but not essential.  

Joe Walsh, Ellen Rose Hummel and Daniel Deivison-Oliveira, Frances Chung, Madison Keelser and Ben Freemantle

Edited by pherank
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Didn't know it was the Vertigo score at first and thought the composer was quoting from it – and, at a few moments, from Mahler! It has the feeling of being the music of transitions, the equivalent of a slow lap dissolve.

I thought San Francisco Art Institute was an effective setting for Justin Peck's incisive choreography for Joseph Walsh. The plaza and cafe have some of the greatest views of the north bay (the architect, Paffard Keatinge-Clay, was student of Le Corbusier and had a difficult time practicing here in San Francisco). Photography seemed smooth and well done. Must have been difficult to figure out and weave together. Well worth watching. 

Edited by Quiggin
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This was great!  Felt so much San Francisco nostalgia, just missing out on all these beautiful locations while in my apartment.  Loved Walsh's segment - presumably that was Peck's choreography, and it looked great!  The filming in the fog was really enchanting for Hummel and Deivison-Oliveira's scene.  The wind in Chung's scene was so great.  I think my favorite bit of cinematography was the PFA. All of it was very well done.  Definitely a great watch!

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40 minutes ago, Quiggin said:

Well worth watching. 


27 minutes ago, Phrenchphry11 said:

Definitely a great watch!

I agree with both of you that it's well worth watching - because of its short length I re-watched it a number of times using Apple TV. For some reason, the 4K version was only available to me on Firefox and not on Safari (which is what I have to use for Apple TV casting). Oh well - still looked good.

I just wish there was more. I can see this being developed into a longer piece with more 'character' development within each scene.

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For anyone wanting to know more about SFB's Dance of Dreams digital production:

Behind-the-Lens: Dance of Dreams

This video is very informative - the hard realities of video production comes through.  😉

with Chris Dennis, SFB Production Director
Dwight Roden, Choreographer
Christopher Wheeldon, Choreographer
Ellen Rose Hummel, Dancer
Daniel Deivison-Oliveira, Date
Kate Schare, SFB Wardrobe Manager
Kelly Tweeddale, SFB Executive Director

Edited by pherank
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