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.
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.