Sexy Dance, Street Dance, Save the Last Dance… The song was always more or less the same: the impossible love story between a graceful dancer in a tutu and a muscular hip-hop dancer. Like ours, and more, Marion Barbeau’s adolescence was rocked by these ultra-formatted dance films. it was performed by very good dancers from the New York City Ballet, so the dancing was of an insane quality. As a little ballerina, it was a treat for me. “The little opera rat was however far from to suspect that, a few years later, she would cross over to the other side of the screen to embody one of these ballerinas in reorientation. Because filming real dancers in fiction is also the approach that Cédric Klapisch has chosen in his fourteenth feature film, En corps, which follows the artistic and romantic rebirth of Élise, a wounded prima ballerina. Here , the “dansophile” director swaps the dance studios of the New York City Ballet and the streets of the Big Apple for the stage of the Théâtre du Châtelet and the Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris. To embody this journey, he chose to offer the tailor-made main role to Marion Barbeau, first dancer at the Paris Opera. Like her on-screen character, Marion began dancing at a very young age, in a small school outside of the capital. At his side, an invested mother who diligently accompanies him to his lessons and a father who does not understand much about his daughter’s passion. But, unlike the father dropped and (brilliantly) interpreted by Denis Podalydès, his father never denigrated the dance. “If we listened to a lot of rock at home, classical dance was valued as much as other artistic fields”, confides the dancer. The next step for Marion and Élise is a teacher who identifies their talent and pushes them to present the competition of the dance school of the Paris Opera. “In the film, Élise saw this period very well, me not at all. I was the one who cried every night. But I met my best friend there, who still is.” Marion Barbeau does not will never have a bad fall. The only time she will be forced to stop dancing will be during the first confinement in 2020. In the film, Élise mopes, “all this time spent and telling herself that it was useless”, before manage to cure his ailments thanks to contemporary dance. This imposed break will also be what will give Marion the desire to broaden her horizons. “I loved this period because I danced every day, but for me, as I wanted. Since I started dance, I was always told how I had to dance and what I had to do. There, I was finally able to understand what I really wanted and make my own choices.”Soon after, in November 2020, she will therefore leave the Opera and begin filming En corps alongside professional actors – Muriel Robin, Pio Marmaï, François Civil and Souheila Yacoub – and dancers from the company of Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter in their own roles. If the director of Young Peril is a regular at the Opera – he has filmed several recordings of shows and made a documentary on Aurélie Dupont, then star –, Marion Barbeau was open to all proposals and even to a film where he would not have been about dancing. One condition: matching sensitivities.” What I like about Cédric is that he has a deep respect for dance, he didn’t want to do ‘Black Swan’ again, with all due respect. for ‘Black Swan’. He wanted the dance moments to be jewels. We didn’t want to prioritize dance styles. If Élise finds freedom through the contemporary, the classic is an integral part of her.” the apprentice actress, triple dose of work. She will have to learn the many choreographies of the film, but also understand how to tame the eye of a camera, she who is used to the gaze of a crowd of live spectators. “When you dance in front of a room, you think about the total vision of the body and the globality of your movements. The camera is zooms. The foreground of the film, for example, is just a hand, so I had all my concentration on this hand.” Above all, Marion will have to become Élise and compose this character who looks like her but who is not her. The parallels between their two trajectories are numerous and she therefore had to carry out a work of disidentification. “For that, I worked with a coach. We first listed the adjectives that define Élise, then I selected those that also applied to me and those that were foreign to me. to create a distance to build the character.” If it was the game that she had to learn from scratch, it was on the dance that Marion put the most pressure on herself. “It’s normal, it’s my domain. Then this time, it will remain frozen on film.” And as a ballet lover, Cédric Klapisch took care of the grain and his love of dance infuses his entire film, from the rhythm to the music, from the editing to the framing. Marion Barbeau is a free electron and rare are the dancers of the ‘Opera who emancipate themselves from the prestigious institution as it does. And as the first dancer does not seem in a hurry to return to the stage, she has chosen to extend her sabbatical leave for a year. But if, like Élise, Marion is reborn through the contemporary, classical dance will always flow in her veins. “Although I’m more contemporary-oriented at the moment, it didn’t make me want to stop classical. This project also allowed me to tell myself that I deeply love the language of classical dance and that It will always be a part of me.” For the first time since she started dancing, she doesn’t know what’s next.