On ‘Perfect Partners’

As a dancer, I frequently get distracted from doing my everyday work by the multitude of dance videos on the internet, particularly on Youtube. Those that I find the most beautiful are filled will artistry and passion. One of the ballet companies I’ve been following is the Australian Ballet and their channel on Youtube. The video is a little old, but I came across it recently and instantly fell in love with the two principal dancers and the cinematography.

It starts with Adam Bull, the male principal, staring straight into the camera and you instantly feel like your part of his scene. Soon, the Amber Scott does the same then you realize they are staring at each other — for just a moment, the viewer is the partner part of the dance.

Throughout the piece, the two are discussing their relationship as partners in a ballet company and their voices are accompanied by the song Bodies by Lucy Roleff, a flowing love ballad. The viewer is taken in and out of close up scenes of Bull and Scott dancing together. It feels less like you’re watching a dance and more like you’re practicing the intricacies of the movement with the two on screen.

The video ends with the opaque silhouettes of the two dancers parting in slow motion just after an intricate lift and a passionate kiss, with Roleff’s voice looming in the background.

After watching, I realized that this video contributes more than just a feature of two beautiful dancers. When an audience watches ballet, or any dance for that matter, they fail to realize that a movement is more than just steps and acting with a group or partner. When a dancer moves on stage or even in rehearsal, there is a connection held with the fellow dancers that heavily contributes to a performance and how the audience receives it. I think this video perfectly portrayed that connection that is necessary for dancers, especially partners.

I thought about how different the impact the piece would have had on me if it was put into a print article. I don’t think that technique would have made me feel the way do. The use of slow motion and close ups helps the viewer understand the movement the pair is doing while simultaneously having a sense of doing the movement. The use of the dancers’ description of their partner and the music in the background gave the viewer an exquisite sense of the connection between the two that was executed beautifully and left me longing for more.

“Every time, we get this telekinetic awareness of each other. You want be able to feel like you’re two people dancing as one.”

— Adam Bull