Image of Ballet of the Nations

Ballet film premieres at Festival

The premiere of The Ballet of the Nations, a film by Bristol-based Impermanence Dance Theatre, has been screened as part of the Jesus College Intellectual Forum programme for the Cambridge Festival of Ideas 2018.

Inspired by 1915 pacifist satire, The Ballet of the Nations, written by Vernon Lee and illustrated by Maxwell Armfield, the film incorporates dialogue inspired by Lee’s text. Narrated by Billy Zane, and masterminded by the characters Satan and Death, The Ballet of the Nations unfolds to a musical score played by the personifications of Fear, Hatred, Heroism and Idealism, in an extended metaphor for the First World War.

Directors Roseanna Anderson and Joshua Ben-Tovim joined Jesus College’s Dr Claudia Tobin for a Q&A after the screening, giving the audience an understanding of how Impermanence interpreted text and drawings with the help of Dr Grace Brockington of the University of Bristol, to create this enormously powerful film.

The Ballet of the Nations is touring the UK from 1 November 2018.