Kill Your Darlings: Ballet Boys

  • Festival
  • November 22, 2014
  • By Maricke Nieuwdorp

With a heavy heart, filmmakers delete scenes they love - because they don't fit the story or don't really add anything for instance. Here, the respective directors explain why they had to kill one of their darlings. This time, Kenneth Elvebakk of Ballet Boys.

This scene was sacrificed early on. Director Kenneth Elvebakk thinks this is unfortunate, as he believes it fits well with the theme. The problem was that it was one of the concluding scenes and it opened the story back up.

"This was one of the last scenes that we shot with the three boys," Elvebakk explains, "and it fits perfectly with the themes of friendship, ambition and realizing one's dreams. In this scene, Syvert, Torgeir and a bunch of other students at the National Academy of the Arts in Oslo visit the Royal Ballet School in London to see Lukas rehearse. I suspect that Syvert and Torgeir were a bit jealous of Lukas's chances as the first Norwegian student in London. But on the other hand, they also dance at a good ballet academy. I was curious to see what would happen between the three boys during this shoot. Would their tight-knit friendship have fizzled?"

A single line

"I'll bet Lukas was very nervous about them coming, but it's very normal for an audience to attend rehearsals for a course like that. Syvert and Torgeir were impressed by the teacher, who was much stricter than what they were used to in Oslo. Lukas prospered under his guidance and knowledge. Fortunately, the film in its current state shows us how such a strict rehearsal works."

"Some films struggle with too many endings. We wanted to maintain a single line. The problem with this specific scene in London is that it opens the entire story back up, just when we're trying to wrap things up. We decided to end at a point where Lukas is just about to realize his dream and become a professional dancer. Torgeir doesn't know if he wants the same thing, and we learn from Syvert that he's been selected to participate in the 2015 Prix de Lausanne, which is considered the world's most esteemed ballet competition. We might just get to see both Syvert and Lukas dancing on important stages, just as they'd always hoped."

Ballet Boys

  • Kenneth Elvebakk
  • 2014
  • 75 min

    Three Norwegian teenage boys dream of careers as professional ballet dancers. How do these young talents prepare for such an exceptional future?

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