It is one of my great pleasures to discover actors who can make me laugh with hardly any words. I have recently found two new delights. Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon met while attending the Jacques Lecoq school of theater and movement in Paris. For several years after that they produced small shows for the stage, and eventually starred in four feature films. I have seen two of them, The Fairy and Lost in Paris. Both of them are currently available on Amazon Prime.
The films are full of great physical comedy, but for this post I have chosen to focus on their dance scenes. It is clearly a passion of theirs, so they find a way to add a couple of dances into their stories. I keep wishing there was more dance in animation. Dance has enormous untapped potential for animation. I have written several posts on eccentric dance. While most eccentric dance is built around exceptional skill or unusual abilities, Abel and Gordon give us a lighthearted interpretation of modern and traditional dance. While they clearly know how to dance, they give the impression of a couple of kids being silly and having fun. They are a married couple, and have a chemistry that comes from years of working together.
The Fairy is a quirky fantasy where many things, both improbable and impossible, happen without question. For example, this underwater dance segment.
Animators know to give their characters strong silhouettes, and this next example has them dancing through their shadows. It has a nice theatrical feel, while taking advantage of a film special effect. This is from Rumba, a film that is harder to find.
This tango from Lost in Paris is probably their most polished work.
Another dance from Rumba.
This next dance from Lost in Paris is not done by Abel and Gordon, but by Emmanuelle Riva and Pierre Richard. I can imagine Carl and Elli from Pixar’s Up dancing this way. It’s just nice to see two old folks doing this.