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Disney animator Glen Keane|Nephtali- Opéra national de Paris

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Posted on September 21, 2015

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The legendary Disney animator Glen Keane, who invented characters such as Ariel, Tarzan, Pocahontas and the Beast, perfectly remembers his first encounter with the Paris Opera : as he was sitting in a nearby café, he could not stop drawing “the most beautiful building I had ever laid eyes on”. Dancing has always inspired his art which circles around the creation of movement, and he was excited to lift the curtain and enter a world which seemed even more magical than the performances on stage.
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His film “Nephtali”, which refers to Jacob’s blessings and Psalm 42, was born from the comparison between the grace of a dancer and that of a deer. In a choreography which Glen created with Marion Barbeau, he depicts the journey of a soul that is drawn towards a higher power, fights a struggle and is eventually liberated.
By using both film and drawing, Glen Keane and Marion Barbeau manage to overcome the constraints of gravity and attain the freedom towards which a dancer’s body and spirit always aspire.