An American in Paris The Musical
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An American in Paris The Musical

On September 20 and 23, the Tony-nominated American in Paris floats into cinemas across the U.S. with a capture from the London production of the musical, Terrifier featuring original stars Robbie Fairchild and Leanne Cope in the production from director and Tony-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. Propelled by dance, the musical was not an easy one to capture for the big screen. Wheeldon and his co-director Ross MacGibbon had to balance the dramatic close-ups common of film with sweeping shots that still conveyed the theatricality of the piece as a whole. Here, Wheeldon discusses taking on that formidable task and why he believes audiences actually gain something they could never achieve in the theatre with this new movie. You can purchase tickets at anamericaninpariscinema.com

Christopher Wheeldon: One of the most reassuring things for me as director, was knowing that Ross MacGibbon was directing for camera on this piece, just ’cause we’ve worked together a lot at the Royal Ballet, he’s an ex-dancer, he has captured a lot of my ballets at the Royal Opera House. The Favourite He’s used to filming dance. The goal was first and foremost to tell a clear story, obviously, and one of the nice things about the camera is that you can direct the eye exactly where you want it to go. Our goal, actually, was to create as much of that dynamic sweep as possible on screen, but by the same token, make sure that those little details weren’t lost.

You do have to sacrifice. You have to accept that. You do have to sacrifice the bigger picture, but what you gain is that beautiful moment of surprise and delight in her eyes that you may not have seen when you’re sitting in Row DD of the orchestra. You accept that you’re gonna lose perhaps Suspiria some of those big picture moments, but what you’re gaining is clarity of storytelling, and emotion, and that’s what I love about this film. I feel like we lose nothing really. If anything, we gain from having those moments. It just makes the piece feel more connected, more emotional.

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An American in Paris The Musical
An American in Paris The Musical
An American in Paris The Musical
An American in Paris The Musical