5 avantages inattendus à la formation de style quarantaine


Des besties de la vie réelle Sascha Radetsky (à gauche) et Ethan Stiefel – alias Charlie et Cooper – se remémorant Center stage20 years later (Photo by Joe Carrotta)

On the hearing process

Ethan Stiefel (Cooper Nielson): Un jour, je suis entré dans les studios de l'American Ballet Theatre au 890 Broadway, et j'avais un de ces feuillets jaunes dans mon compartiment de courrier qui disait simplement: «Laurence Mark. Columbia Pictures. Veuillez appeler.» Sorti de nul part. Et j'ai appelé, et Larry – l'un des producteurs du film – a répondu directement. Il connaissait très bien la danse et m'avait vu jouer quelques fois. Il était fan. Il a dit que Columbia travaillait sur un film de danse, et il pensait que je serais un bon candidat. J'étais un peu surpris – il n'y a pas beaucoup de films de danse réalisés, point final – mais bien sûr j'étais intéressé. Je veux dire, quelle opportunité.

Sascha Radetsky (Charlie): Ethan and I were buddies from afar. We met as kids at a summer school intensive - I was 11 and he was 15, I think? But we ended up together in ABT. And I remember in January 1999, Ethan said, "Oh, yeah, I'm doing this movie." It was like it was written for him.

Erin Baiano (student at the American Ballet Academy): Yeah, I heard that this was all a star vehicle for Ethan.

Stiefel: I haven't heard that!

Julie Kent (Kathleen Donahue): I remember Ethan mentioning to me during an appearance in Japan that he had just been to California to meet with a director about a possible film. It all sounded exciting, but rather vague. And then, a few months later, he said they wanted me to read a part.

Amanda Schull (Jody Sawyer): For me, it was a bit of an artistic situation imitating life. I was a senior at San Francisco Ballet School, and we were rehearsing for our end-of-the-year showcase, which was an opportunity for Helgi (Tomasson, SFB's artistic director) and other business leaders to see us perform. Helgi's assistant walked into rehearsal and whispered something to the play's choreographer, who had a very dry sense of humor - she said something like, "We are going to have a Hollywood fantasy producer watching us today." I straightened up immediately. I happened to have one of the lead roles in this ballet and I activated it. At the end, Helgi's assistant gave me a script - my failure had caught the producer's attention. The next day I read my scenes for the producer between rehearsals, while I was beet red and sweaty. I was reading for Jody and Maureen, but I told the producer, "You know, I like Jody's part more." That's really embarrassing, looking back! But I'found out later that'afterwards, the producer had called the casting director and said, "I'found Jody Sawyer."

Amanda Schull with director Nicholas Hytner (courtesy of Schull)

Baiano: Je venais de quitter mon emploi chez ABT, donc je n'avais que du temps à disposition. Quelqu'un du casting m'a appelé et m'a demandé de passer une audition, je ne me souviens plus comment. En fait, ils m'ont d'abord donné un camp pour Jody, puis ils m'ont rappelé pour Emily quelques semaines plus tard. Mais certains de mes amis ont lu pour Eva et certaines autres parties. J'avais l'impression que tous ceux que je connaissais avaient auditionné – tous ABT, tous les New York City Ballet.

Radetsky: My role was originally written for Angel Corella (then - star of ABT, now - artistic director of Pennsylvania Ballet). It was supposed to be Carlos, not Charlie. Which shows you that the writer really knew dance, and so did the director and the producer, because Angel is great. And I didn't read for Carlos originally - I read for the Russian, the Ilia Kulik part. I did it terribly.

Stiefel: Sascha was a seasoned actor at the time. He did commercials and filmed as a child.

Radetsky: He likes to remind people. Yes, it's somewhere on the Internet. I made a movie called Finally home- It was Adrien Brody's first film.

Stiefel: He went from working with Adrien Brody to working with me, poor guy.

Radetsky: I only work with captions. (Laughter.) Mais de toute façon, au milieu de la saison du Metropolitan Opera House d'ABT cet été-là, Angel s'est fait sauter la cheville, donc il n'a pas pu faire le film. Je pense qu'au départ, l'équipe voulait toujours garder le nom de Carlos. Ils ont amené Joaquin de Luz (alors soliste de l'ABT puis directeur de NYCB) à lire.

Schull: Later in the audition process, they took me to New York for screen tests, and I remember they were auditioning Joaquin for the Charlie part at the same time. He invited me to go watch ABT from the wings one night, to see Ethan dance. I remember thinking: even if this is the end of my journey with this movie, what chance do I have?

Radetsky: They also auditioned (then - NYCB dancer, now - L.A. Dance Project director) Benjamin Millepied for the Charlie / Carlos part. What would be the French for Charles? Char-LEE? Anyway, it was written for these other incredible dancers, and then by a stroke of fortune, I ended up with the gig.

Kent: I don't remember the scene I did for Kathleen's audition. But I remember talking to Nicholas (Hytner, the director of the film) at the audition to find out why he wanted to make this film. I liked his films and knew of his career as a theater director in London, but it seemed like a total left turn for him to do a teen ballet film. And he said he loved the art form, and the film company had done all this research, and they really thought that this film was going to speak to an audience of teenage girls and their moms - it was going to be very impactful for the whole generation. Clearly, it was true!

Schull (center) in the now iconic Central stage Sequence shot (courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

From the first days of shooting, and adaptation to the comedy

Schull: Before the shoot began, we rehearsed the jazz number in New York with (choreographer) Susan Stroman and her wonderful assistants, as well as the ballet numbers. They put me in an apartment near Lincoln Center. I felt very glamorous.

Stiefel: Stroman directed (Tony Award-winning musical) Contact at that time, at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center, and so we had some of our rehearsals there.

Schull: The guys were still in season at ABT at the beginning of the rehearsal period, so I started on my own at first. And thank God, because I wasn't nearly as fast a learner or strong a dancer as Ethan and Sascha. Once they joined the rehearsals, I remember being shocked at how quickly they learned everything. It was nothing It's up to them to pick up these ballets. Also, seeing Ethan's feet up close for the first time, I was totally stunned.

Stiefel: Stroman was brilliant, choreographing the Cooper Nielson ballet. She had never really worked with ballet dancers before, but she had a good handle on the structure and the feel she wanted for each passage. Then she would give us the freedom to suggest things - "Is there anything specific you can think of for this spot?" I'm also sure that the bike didn't exist in the Cooper ballet until I was cast. (Stiefel is, famously, a motorcycle enthusiast.)

Schull and Stiefel filming the motorcycle scene (courtesy of Schull)

Kent: Je n'avais pas autant de préparation à faire que certains des autres danseurs. Mais ma première vraie journée de tournage a été la scène la plus grande et la plus difficile pour moi! C'était le moment au théâtre, pendant le gala, quand je dois dire à Cooper "C'est ce qu'on appelle jouer". Je suis entré, boum, ils l'ont tiré. Je me souviens avoir été reconnaissant que ce soit une scène avec Ethan. Nous avions été des personnages ensemble sur scène plusieurs fois auparavant, il y avait donc déjà un niveau de confiance. Je n'avais pas le même genre de nerfs avec lui qu'avec, disons, Peter Gallagher (qui joue le chef d'entreprise Jonathan Reeves) – une grande star de cinéma que j'ai rencontrée dans la bande-annonce de maquillage, puis nous avons dû monter sur le plateau et jouer mari et femme. Même si Peter n'aurait pas pu être plus gentil.

Stiefel: Certains d'entre nous ont définitivement été jetés dans le grand bain. La première scène que j'ai tournée avec Amanda était la scène d'amour à l'appartement de Cooper. Peut-être que la pensée était que, sans vraiment se connaître, nous aurions une certaine énergie ou tension. Mais il faudrait que j'imagine que ces premières prises n'étaient pas très jolies, le premier jour, le premier. Nous avons fini par reprendre la scène, un mois plus tard.

Radetsky: My first day was the scene on the ship, the Circle Line Cruise. My alarm didn't go off and they started shooting at 6am. I was late, my first day. So I was already mortified. We went out on the boat and we were supposed to have a kissing scene between me and Amanda. And poor Amanda got motion sickness.

Schull: They had to keep a bucket off camera for me to switch between takes. And then Sascha had to kiss me! He didn't complain, this sweet man.

Radetsky: I felt terrible, she was totally sickened by everything. And then the irony is that they ended up dropping the whole scene. We picked it up later, without the kiss. It was an interesting indoctrination in the process.

Schull and Radetsky (left) with Shakiem Evans and Victoria Born (aka Erik and Emily) in a scene from the film (courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

On the dance stages

Schull: Since I was not trained as an actor, the scenes with intense emotional dialogue made me nervous. But the dance sequences were great fun to shoot.

Stiefel: I loved that they chose such a sophisticated representative for the film. How great is (Sir Kenneth) MacMillan Romeo and Juliet balcony not? And then George Balanchine Stars and stripes has a different sensibility in terms of virtuosity and accessibility. You had everything from Shakespeare to a motorcycle on stage. It was diverse, and it wasn't watered down at all.

Kent: We really didn't adjust the MacMillan choreography at all for the camera. That's one of the things I'm most proud of in this film: how they captured the balcony clips. They got it so right - the choreography and the sense of performance, the set design.

Stiefel: They also filmed the Balanchine finale Theme and variationswith ABT dancers, me and Julie. And it was never used. I don't think I've ever seen it. Must be in the trunk somewhere.

Baiano: They were really smart about planning the dance stuff. For the class scenes, a lot of the New York City Ballet dancers had more time during that period of shooting, so you'll see them in the background. But then they brought in dancers from ABT to do "little swans" because that was ABT's representative.

Kent: Filmer la danse nécessite un niveau d'intensité différent – pas seulement l'ancien «Dépêchez-vous et attendez», mais «Dépêchez-vous, attendez, puis dansez votre cœur. Il est difficile pour votre corps de produire un niveau d'énergie physique élevé à plusieurs reprises, sans être au chaud. Mais ça a toujours semblé être une bonne humeur sur le plateau, beaucoup de jeunes danseurs vraiment excités.

Radetsky: Nous étions tellement excités d'être là. Il y avait un peu de courbe d'apprentissage pour l'équipe en termes de tournage de la danse, donc je me souviens de certaines prises où nous donnions notre meilleure course, et les virages étaient super, mais il s'avérait qu'ils se concentraient sur … le piano . (laughterIt didn't matter! We would go back.

Kent: Shoot "She's a heartbeat away from tattooing your name on her..." -Well, you can fill in the blank. This scene was funny, partly just because people didn't expect to hear those words come out of my mouth. That's not really my personality! But you really talk secretly on stage like that sometimes while you are dancing, so it was fun to shoot. Also, I thought that at the end of The dancers (Kent's 1987 film with Mikhail Baryshnikov), you see me getting a daisy tattoo on my cheek. What is it with these ballet movies that tattoos down there are a theme?

Stiefel and Schull dancing in "Cooper's Ballet" (courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Radetsky: I shot this scene with Ethan in the studio.

Baiano: What you don't see is that all the dance extras were in the studio for this dance. We were in the background clapping, like "Okay!"

Stiefel: Sascha and I really ad-libbed the whole dance there.

Radetsky: Well, let's talk about what actually arrivé. Dans le film, la façon dont il est censé se passer est que Cooper fait cette séquence de sauts en répétition et je ne peux pas suivre, puis plus tard, dans la performance finale, je fais toute la chaîne virtuose d'étapes, comme: "J'ai tu sais." Donc, nous avons d'abord tourné la partie sur scène. Vous verrez que je fais une double tournée, une pirouette, une double tournée, une double tournée – ce n'était pas un script, c'était juste "tout ce que vous voulez faire". Voilà donc ce que j'ai fait. Et puis plus tard, nous avons filmé la scène de répétition, et vous remarquerez qu'Ethan fait une double tournée, double pirouette, double turn, double turn, double turn. I was like "Dude! Continuity won't work!" (Laughter.)

Stiefel: I guess it was a very Cooper thing to do, actually.

Baiano: We have to talk about the jazz class. C'is my absolute favorite.

Stiefel: To this day, if people want to gently mock me, they will pull out some moves from this scene, give me a little (makes jazz). Susan Stroman choreographed the whole thing, and the dancers are essentially the entire cast of Contact.

Baiano: Warren Carlyle (now a popular Broadway choreographer and director) is there!

Stiefel: They were full and full, every take. In fact, Robert Wersinger, he was one of the dancers, and I had already danced and been friends with him at New York City Ballet. He was the one who whispered in my ear, "What do you think of this girl?" or "Check her out!" So it was cool too to have a moment on screen with a friend I hadn't seen in a while.

Schull and Stiefel with the cast of the jazz class scene (courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

In the dynamic backstage

Schull: Nous étions tous assez proches. C'était comme un camp d'été. Les jeunes enfants ont passé chaque week-end ensemble, allant chez une personne ou une autre. J'ai filmé tous les jours pendant trois mois et je n'arrivais toujours pas à en avoir assez des gens avec qui je travaillais. J'ai tourné 21 ans sur le tournage du film, et ils ont décoré ma remorque avec des banderoles et des fleurs et m'ont donné un gâteau, tout cela. Je n'ai rien de scandaleux ou de sauvage à partager à ce sujet. (Laughter.) I just had the time of my life.

Baiano: Les danseurs jouant des étudiants et des figurants, la plupart du temps, nous traînions vraiment au New York State Theatre (maintenant le David H. Koch Theatre), où nous travaillions de toute façon. Il y avait donc un élément cinématographique étrange et inconnu, mais c'était aussi notre gazon domestique, qui nous a tous aidés à devenir plus à l'aise.

Schull: The more experienced dancers were incredibly courteous. At the very beginning, Ethan left me a voicemail telling me what a good job he thought I was doing. I kept that for a long time. And I became close with Sascha and Stella (Abrera, now director of ABT and Radetsky's wife).

Baiano: L'équipage était super génial. Tous les danseurs travailleraient de longues heures et ne seraient pas des divas à ce sujet. Nous sommes juste habitués à cela, mais je pense que l'équipe a vraiment respecté cette éthique de travail, car ce n'est pas toujours le cas sur les films.

Stiefel: The general feeling was that everyone involved really loved dance and wanted us to succeed.

Schull behind the scenes with the film crew (courtesy of Schull)

Schull: Nick (Hytner) was so nice. He was very gracious and kind. And I realize now, after being in the business longer, that's a luxury you don't always get. I knew the studio really wanted an actor, not a dancer, for Jody, but it made me feel like I belonged.

Stiefel: Nick had so much patience - he was working with a ton of actors for the first time. Every time we were shooting a difficult scene, he gave us great advice. We were playing characters, but at the same time, he wanted to bring out a lot of what was already in us as dancers - that specific posture, how you walk and move. And he's a pretty knowledgeable ballet fan.

Baiano: Il était également très respectueux de l'expertise des danseurs dans la salle. Il y a eu un moment où Ilia, qui n'avait jamais fait de partenariat avec le ballet auparavant, a dû faire la scène du cours de partenariat, et Nick nous a laissé un peu travailler avec lui. Il nous a donné l'espace pour faire des choses comme ça pour le rendre plus authentique.

Radetsky: Nick would consult us about the dialogue and the little details, to make it real - "Would you really want to wear it? No? Then get rid of it." You can tell he's an artist himself by the respect he showed for the art form.

Baiano: Tout a fonctionné parce que les gens du sommet aimaient clairement le ballet et dirigeaient un groupe d'artistes talentueux et travailleurs. Si vous regardez les gens qui jouent les étudiants, il y a tous ces danseurs qui vont être directeurs dans leurs compagnies dans environ cinq ans. Janie Taylor (plus tard un directeur de NYCB), Rebecca Krohn (plus tard un directeur de NYCB), Gillian (Murphy, maintenant un directeur ABT et la femme de Stiefel), Stella – ils sont tous là. Jonathan Stafford (maintenant directeur artistique de NYCB) et Jared Angle (maintenant directeur de NYCB) sont les doublures de cette scène de répétition du ballet Cooper! À ce jour, Jared plaisantera qu'il a un os à choisir avec Cooper-slash-Ethan, parce que Jared était la doublure d'Erik O. Jones, et vraiment quand Eric s'est blessé, cela aurait dû être le grand moment de Jared. Nous sommes tous vraiment liés. Nous sommes toujours amis.

Schull and Stiefel filming the dance finale (courtesy of Schull)

Working with famous or upcoming actors

Schull: Les non-danseurs étaient tous adorables pour moi, et je ne le méritais certainement pas, petite giclée naïve que j'étais. Zoe (Saldana, qui joue Eva) avait une formation en danse – son port de bras est magnifique, en fait – mais elle et Susan (May Pratt, qui joue Maureen) n'avaient absolument aucun ego à accepter les suggestions des danseurs de la distribution quand elles sont venues pour rendre les scènes de danse plus réalistes. Tout le monde était investi pour le rendre aussi réel que possible, pas une interprétation hollywoodienne de ce qu'est le ballet.

Kent: Peter Gallagher had clearly done a lot of homework so that he could look like he knew what he was doing while conducting a ballet class - the manners, that very specific physics.

Stiefel: Peter was great to work with, because he is great at what he does, of course, but he was also very supportive and generous. I learned a lot from him, just by watching how he would do it, how he would read a scene, the questions he would ask, the art of it all.

Baiano: What I remember about Peter Gallagher is that he used to make me cigarettes all the time. Which made me feel really cool.Laughter.)

Schull on set with dancers (courtesy of Schull)

On the initial and ongoing impact of the film

Schull: I have done not expect the attention the film got from the start. It was really weird. We got carried away and I went back to the San Francisco Ballet as an apprentice - I wasn't living a glamorous, attention-seeking life. But I remember flying to visit my sister after the film premiered, getting really sick of the movement on the plane and seeing these teenage girls taking pictures of me throwing up. The guy sitting next to me said, "Are you some kind of rock star?" And I was like, "No...I'm the girl in that dance movie." (Laughter.)

Baiano: All my friends were in love with Sascha. They were like, "Do you know Charlie?" And I was like, "Oh, yeah, we go way back." (Laughter.) Sascha was in a Mandy Moore video! Everyone forgets that "I want to be with you" was a Center stage song.

Radetsky: I mean, there are clips of me playing on a screen while Mandy sings.

Baiano: No, it's more than that!

(Note from the editor: See for yourself.)

Stiefel: There was a real buzz in the dance world when the film came out, because it had been so long since a major studio had made a dance film. sleepless night was great, but a totally different flavor. And the diversity of the characters involved was also new.

Baiano: Vous pouvez enfin voir un personnage gay noir! Il approchait des temps modernes. Bien que je gronde un peu aujourd'hui à quel point la relation de Cooper avec Jody était inappropriée, sans parler des tresses cornrow dans le ballet Cooper, qui sont, euh, problématiques. Mais il y a bien d'autres choses. Cela faisait partie de cette vague de grands roms de cette époque du début des années 2000. Tous les trucs de Freddie Prinze Jr., et 10 things I hate about you-il avait le même sentiment. À ce jour, c'est toujours le cas observable.

Radetsky: There is a perfect formula that he just hit.

Kent: Vous pouvez passer votre vie entière en tant qu'artiste de la scène, dans le monde entier, et c'est une chose. Mais pour être préservé dans le temps sur un film, un film que les gens regardent toujours – c'est spécial d'une manière différente. Je me souviens, quand le 11 septembre est arrivé, environ un an après la sortie du film, ABT était en tournée, je pense à Kansas City. Nous avons dû traverser le pays jusqu'à San Diego, car tous les vols étaient cloués au sol. Nous étions quelque part au Colorado quelque part et la serveuse est venue et a dit: "Oh, les gens au comptoir ont pris soin de votre déjeuner. Ils vous reconnaissent dans les films."

Stiefel, Schull and Radetsky in the finale of "Cooper's Ballet" (courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Radetsky: I still get recognized sometimes. They will be the last people you expect - a TSA screener or a bagger at Whole Foods. The garbage man, once. Who knew he would be in ballet? The dance moms still recognize me a lot. Back then, it was younger dancers; now it's dance moms.

Stiefel: Right after the movie came out, it was funny - people were just yelling "Cooper!" at me from across the street. And I guess now younger kids know me from the other side. Center stage films, in which you can see Cooper aging somewhat. The last time we saw him, he was receiving a lifetime achievement award.

Radetsky: I was there to see you win this award, Center Stage: On Pointe!

Baiano: People are still talking about this movie, which is crazy. It was fun to see the Center stage tributes come out from time to time. The best one was on the 15th anniversary, I think, when Weekly entertainment made a story Why Center stage is the greatest dance film ever made. C'est magique. Il frappe sur toutes les bizarreries de ces modes des débuts et sur le fait que dans la scène de danse finale, Amanda est une sorcière des cheveux.

Stiefel: I always have a Center stage keychain somewhere. And a poster. And, I think, a sweatshirt?

Radetsky: Stella always wears this sweatshirt for class.

Schull: When we were doing Center stage, personne impliqué n'y a pensé comme un stupide film de danse pour adolescents, et vous pouvez le voir. Je pense que c'est pourquoi les gens l'aiment tellement. Les femmes me disent toujours que la raison pour laquelle elles ont commencé le ballet était à cause du film, ou qu'elles ont un rituel où elles le regardent avec leurs copines, ou que leur école de danse a des soirées cinéma dédiées.

Kent: It really shaped a whole generation of young dancers. I feel very lucky to have been a part of that.

Schull: Il est également évident, comme vous le regardez, que nous nous sommes beaucoup amusés sur ce plateau. Maintenant, étant depuis plus de dix ans dans le jeu d'acteur, je peux flairer quand les gens font semblant d'avoir une bonne amitié pour la caméra. Mais nous avons vraiment pris soin les uns des autres.

Stiefel: We need to do more reunions.

(From left to right) Stiefel, Radetsky and Erin Baiano at their mini Center stage reunion (photo by Joe Carrotta)