Encore – En corps (2022)
Directed by: Cédric Klapisch | 117 minutes | drama | Actors: Pio Marmaï, François Civil, Denis Podalydès, Marion Barbeau, Hofesh Shechter, Muriel Robin, Souheila Yacoub, Mehdi Baki, Alexia Giordano, Marion Gautier de Charnacé, Robinson Cassarino
In ‘Encore’ a spectacle takes place between the wings that really upsets Elise, a 26-year-old prima ballerina. The show must go on, so she enters the stage slightly confused. That night, disaster strikes for a second time when she lands unhappily during a pas de deux and disastrously injures her ankle.
In the hospital it becomes clear how serious her accident is. The doctor advises plaster, rest and probably major surgery after two years that will end her career as a ballet dancer. It’s either that or never walk again. This choice changes the life of Parisian Elise (Marion Barbeau) forever, especially given her precarious age as a professional dancer.
Her unbridled passion forces a new view on dance. The contrast between genres such as modern dance, breakdance, hip-hop and ballet fascinates her and she chooses to switch to modern dance. That requires a lot of adaptability because ballet is as light as a feather and in modern dance you are more in contact with the floor, the earth. Her father looks at his daughter’s choice with sorrow, because he would have preferred that she had gone to law school after all. A well-intentioned but rather short-sighted opinion, which he, thank God, later corrects in the theater as a spectator in full emotion.
By collaborating with big names from the dance world such as the Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter and the aforementioned Marion Barbeau – a prima ballerina at the Paris National Ballet – this French film evolves from a mediocre romantic drama with a wafer-thin storyline to a higher level. This is mainly due to the dance scenes, an excellent insight from director Cédric Klapisch. The choreographies are breathtaking and filmed in such a way that you imagine yourself among the dancers during rehearsals. The enthusiasm of the dance company bursts from the screen. The music that has been chosen also forms a perfect synergy with the dance scenes.
‘Encore’ was first called ‘En corps’, which on closer inspection would have been a better title if you consider the heavy physical aspect of dance. The flexibility, strength, limits and perseverance that this entails is impressive. ‘Encore’ is a pleasant ode to dance that – hopefully – can count on many cinema visits.