CLOSINGNOTES

People I Beauty and the barre

SHANDA DEZIEL February 2 2004
CLOSINGNOTES

People I Beauty and the barre

SHANDA DEZIEL February 2 2004

People I Beauty and the barre

CLOSINGNOTES

Neve Campbell is barely five minutes late, but she apologizes sincerely. “I was driving around looking for parking,” she explains. “For some reason, I rented a Lincoln Town Car and it’s massive. I couldn’t fit it anywhere.” The 30-year-old actress has arrived without an entourage and comes across as a super-friendly, down-to-earth, Guelph, Ont., girl. But she’s also all business, deftly steering the conversation away from her personal life, and focusing on the subject at hand— her much-talked-about, Robert Altmandirected ballet movie, The Company.

The former National Ballet School student produced and stars in this labour of love—returning to the barre after a nine-year break. The Company is heavy on ballet, light on plot. Yet, it’s intoxicating and documentary-like in its portrayal of the gruelling life of professional dancers. Campbell and writer Barbara Turner (Pollock) spent two years interviewing members of Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet and then cast them in the film. They weren’t expected to act as well as Campbell, but she was expected to dance like them. “It was intimidating,” she says about joining the company, “but I did what any dancer would if you go into a ballet class new: you wait for everyone to pick their spots at the barre and then you go last. I just wanted them to know I didn’t come in thinking I was hot shit.” This movie maybe Campbell’s baby, but it’s no vanity project. SHANDA DEZIEL