My dream about a Canta ballet

24 januari 2013 - Blog

Read here Nevejan’s pitch at the Thessaloniki Film Festival 2013:

canta_ballet_dreamTwo years ago I had a dream one night. I was in the top of a round building, looking at a ballet of the little red Canta cars downstairs. The next day I was telling this dream in a breakfast place in Amsterdam. A man came up to me, introducing himself as the producer of the Dutch National ballet. He said that they would have their fifty years jubilee next year and that my dream might actually fit into the programme. So begins this journey of a this wild collaboration.
I began filming a year ago and soon realised that the project had much more layers in it than I could have ever dreamt. This had to do with the meeting of the two groups.
The Canta drivers were sort of the worst nightmare for the balletdancers. Their fear of being crippled or just old and therefore one day having to drive a Cantacar was embodied by the Cantadrivers.
The ballet people stood for everything the Canta drivers could never do.
They were eachothers embodyment of either what they lost or were afraid to lose. But at the same time they shared the experience of stretching and training their bodies every day to keep on moving. One group being very serious and disciplined about their bodies, the other having a sort of anarchistic humour about it.
If you ask a person about the story of their body you will hear the story of their soul.
The film will show the process of merging between these two worlds..
Realties rhime, I call it.
When filming we were constantly looking for images and sentences that were rhiming.
We did not have to create them they were just there, all the time.
A nurse is taking care of the wounds in the feet of a Canta driver saying: How are the legs today? In the morningclass of the ballet, the balletmaster says to the ballerina’s: Goodmorning… how are the legs today?
Meaning something different and yet the same.
canta_ballet110The hard breathing of an old man walking for the first time without cruches is the same as the hard breathing of the balletdancers while rehearsing the double flip.
For me, as a documentarymaker I found out through this project that the force of beauty is sometimes more transforming and uplifting than the search for truth.
My oldest Canta driver Anniebartje of 93, who shares her little car with her daughter of 70, made that clear to me after the last show while receiving the applause from the audience.
She said: Maartje, We really did it, we gave them a thing of beauty.
Yes, I replied, we did.
She answered: But You know, my life just never was about beauty, it never was.
It is this beauty, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, that we will see in the Canta Dancing.
Not only the truth, but sometimes beauty can set you free…