In black-and-white, inside the Paris Opera House located in Paris, France, the camera passes two chandeliers in the Grand Foyer and peers at Jody Watley from the balcony by four thick columns on both sides. On the platform of the Grand Staircase, she begins to dance between three winding steps in each direction. In her close-up, she stands sideways, rolling her shoulder.
On another floor, a man leans against the turning gear. She dances underneath the scattered wires. In the ballroom, she dances with another man. She puts her arms around his neck and he walks as her legs slide across the floor.
The man continues to dance on the sidewalk. Graffiti on the building reads “Gay Color Stay Cool” and “Say What?” She watches him from the balcony.
In the middle of the front stairs, she lays down, her skirt fanned out, surrounding her. By the turning gear, the man spots her over his shoulder and begins to dance. She rolls her arms over her head on the front steps.
The man watches her dance in the street, peeking from the side of the building. She walks up the steps and tilts her head forward, pausing at the man lying face down near the platform. The man dances on the platform, between the staircases.
The color sharpens from a tarnished copper to immaculate pearl stairs furnished with marble as the opera house shimmers in bronze. She ruffles her hair and pauses by the chandelier.
On the marble platform of the Paris Opera House, Jody Watley dances with care. Its majestic staircase humbles her with its everlasting beauty and history. She lies on the staircase, gazing at the painting by Clairin on the ceiling. She thinks of the skeleton of the ballerina once used in a production, which inspired the Gaston Leroux’s “Phantom of the Opera.” It was simply a story she experienced in its musical incarnation. However, within the walls of the theatre, the spirits of broken ballerinas course through her body.
Standing in the Grand Foyer, in her red dress, she dare not touch the railing. A scratch from her finger could mark the finish. In the presence of historical art, she is motivated to work. With its silent standards, which demands perfection and elegance, she performs to her best ability.
Director: Brian Grant Year: 1987
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