Letter from Rani Luther

Dearest Friends, 

When envisioning ideas for this short film, I immediately thought it was essential to convey the youthful spirit of our current Jette Parker Young Artists and to showcase the fine talents seen throughout the Company in previous alumni of the program.  

Nigel Gaynor, our Music Director and Principal Conductor, played two beautiful pieces of music: Offenbach’s Barcarolle from The Tales of Hoffmann and the scherzo from Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which we decided gave the perfect feeling for the mood we wished to create.  

Over two weeks, I directed the dancers to upload filmed clips of themselves to a central file. These clips included choreography that I taught them during a Zoom meeting online, segments of their own choreography and snippets from two previous ballets in our repertoire which had been created on the Young Artists. 

Our Stage Manager turned tech guru, Yanni Dubler, and I spent three days scrolling through the material uploaded by the dancers and from it, we built our 8-minute film. We aimed to align the movements as precisely with the music as possible, although without any rehearsal it proved challenging to get 35 dancers to move all together. I must tell you though, that the dancers’ beautiful talents needed little editing, as instinctively, their natural rhythm was so in-tune with the work even when they all filmed and communicated from a distance. The digital process of making a film really opened my eyes to what is possible through cutting, splicing, and altering footage and tempos. It was such an interesting process and wonderful to learn a new skill.  

What would a Jette Parker Young Artist film be without a little fun? So please look out for some of the dancers’ furry friends who make an appearance throughout the film and a very special guest appearance by our very own Artistic Director Li Cunxin AO, who cooks up some fun in the kitchen. 

We have absolutely loved creating this for you. Please enjoy!  

Rani Luther

Ballet Mistress and Creative Associate

Gratitude film