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Paxton Ricketts

Staff credit

Choreographer: Paxton Ricketts

Director & DP: Tom McKenzie

Music Ludvig van Beethoven: Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1 II: Largo assai ed espressivo

Sound recording and mix: Aske Rud


With the support of Augustinus Fonden

Description of your idea

Initially, this was a piece that was meant to be performed on a stage, to a live audience. It was meant to be part of a program in Copenhagen called "Kammerballetten". It is an evening put together by Alexander McKenzie who is a member of the award-winning classical ensemble "Trio Vitruvi". They were going to play Beethoven's music live, and Sebastian Haynes would dance my choreography.

But, as with so many things, our plans had to change due to the pandemic. We then decided to create a film for the piece. We brought in Tom McKenzie, to direct and shoot the project.

The film is the exploration of a space. Taking place in and around an abandoned castle in Helsingør, Denmark, we wanted the setting of the film to be as integral to the choreography as the dancer. Sebastian uses the space as a partner and interacts with it like a fellow performer. Through the space as well as the music we explored the feeling of confinement and claustrophobia, as well as freedom and playfulness.

The piece begins with the musicians bringing the dancer to life in a way. Along with exploring the setting, the choreography is also an exploration of the music. The piece by Beethoven is incredibly dramatic and powerful. Alone it can already be a maelstrom of sensations. We had to find a way to add the movement to those sensations. We could easily overwhelm the audience, depending on how we paired the choreography with the music. Sebastian had to weave his way through the emotions of the music. He had to align himself with them, while still finding his own path of expression.

What was the biggest challenge of the film? Each of the artists involved in the film faced very different challenges. For example, we shot the whole film over the course of about 9 hours. This was a huge challenge for Sebastian and Tom because they were being very physical for the entire 9 hours.

For me, the biggest challenge was trying to have an eye for what choreography would work on film. I have created many times for stage. But to translate that movement experience to camera was completely new. I had never created work for film in such a way before. We spent a lot of time experimenting with what could work and from what angles. Tom also brought a lot of knowledge to the table, which was a great guiding light.

Where do you look for inspiration? My greatest inspiration for this was Sebastian of course. He is that beautiful and rare mix of a wonderful dancer, and a delightful human being.

 When creating, generally I am able to be driven by the music. In this case, the music was so powerful that it could almost make decisions for me about the choreography. I was lucky enough to be able to ride that wave.

We spent a lot of time discussing and exploring animal behavior. When we were first building the piece we were interested in basing the piece on the idea of "Ethology", or the study of animal behavior. What was most interesting was the differences in behavior and communications between humans and various animals. As the piece progressed we moved away from that idea, simply because we found it would work better on stage than on film. However many of the movements that we developed with that concept are still visible in the choreography of the film.

What drives your enthusiasm the most?

I am very enthusiastic about what happens when people collaborate. When you work together with other artists there is something magical that happens. You create something that is beyond your own imagination. It is greater than the sum of its parts, as the saying goes. For this film I was lucky enough to be part of an inspiring team of collaborators. The musicians, the director, and of course the dancer all brought so much to the work. It was invigorating to feel the momentum of that group.

What is your dream? My dream is to stay creative. I don't know in what capacity. But I feel most myself when I am making something. I hope to keep making things with people I like.


Paxton Ricketts was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, and grew up in Vancouver, Canada. He trained as a dancer at Arts Umbrella in Vancouver for 11 years. When he was 19 he joined a project-based company in Canada called Wen Wei Dance. He was with them for a few months, then he moved to the Netherlands to join Nederlands Dans Theater 2 in 2014. He spent 3 years dancing for the internationally known company before joining Nederlands Dans Theater 1. Paxton is passionate about both dancing and choreographing. Since he joined NDT he has also choreographed 10 works of dance. They have been performed around the world, including the Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, and Japan.


もともとこの作品は、コペンハーゲンで開催予定の「Kammerballetten」(訳注:チャンバー(室内)バレエの意)というイベントの参加作品で、舞台の上、観客の前で上演される予定でした。高評価を得ているクラシック・アンサンブルTrio VitruviのメンバーAlexander McKenzieが企画したもので、ベートーベンの音楽を生演奏する横でSebastian Haynesが私の振付を踊るというものです。

しかしパンデミックの影響で、多くの予定を変更しなければいけませんでした。そこで監督・撮影にTom McKenzieを招き、この作品のために映像を作ろうと決めました。
















デンマーク・コペンハーゲンに生まれカナダ・バンクーバーで育つ。バンクーバーのArts Umbrellaで11年ダンサーとして研磨を積む。19歳でカナダの契約制ダンスカンパニーWen Wei Danceに数ヶ月参加。その後オランダへ移住し2014年に国際的に知られるネザーランド・ダンス・シアター(NDT)2に所属。2017年からNDT1に所属。ダンスと振付双方に情熱を注ぎ、NDT入団以降10つの作品を振り付ける。振付作品はオランダはじめカナダ、デンマーク、日本など国際的に上演されている。

翻訳: 瀧瀬彩恵


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