L.A. Dance Project opens Cannes with 'Vertigo' homage

L.A. Dance Project opens Cannes with 'Vertigo' homage
The L.A. Dance Project helped open the Cannes Film Festival with a tribute to Hitchcock's "Vertigo." (Anne-Christine Poujoulatanne / AFP/Getty Images)

While celebrities and fashion usually take the spotlight at the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival, this year's edition allowed members of L.A. Dance Project to share the glory when they helped to open the event with a performance inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo."

The approximately four-minute piece was choreographed by L.A. Dance Project co-founder Benjamin Millepied, the former New York City Ballet principal who last year took the job of director of the Paris Opera Ballet.


On Wednesday, dancers performed for the audience at the Palais des Festivals with scenes from "Vertigo," starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, playing in the background. Bernard Hermann's music for the 1958 movie -- inspired by Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde" -- served as the dance score.

Full coverage: Cannes Film Festival 2015

The opening ceremony can be viewed in its entirety, with the dance sequence commencing at around the 10-minute mark.

Among the performers was Morgan Lugo, an L.A. Dance Project member, who enacted the role modeled after Stewart's private investigator. The piece culminated with Lugo dancing with two female performers both dressed in the style of Novak's mysterious heroine -- their doubling mimicking the movie's premise of déjà vu.

Millepied didn't appear on stage, but he was in the audience with his wife, actress Natalie Portman, whose film directorial debut "A Tale of Love and Darkness" will play later in the festival.

L.A. Dance Project, created in 2012, is a modern dance and artist collective that performs around Southern California as well as internationally. It has performed multiple times at the Theater at the Ace Hotel in downtown L.A., and more recently was seen at the Palace of Versailles in France.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT