Visuals from an atypical shoot, filming climbing and slacklining scenes for legendary choreographer Rachid Ouramdane’s next dance show. We traveled to the Verdon Gorge this spring with Nina Caprez and Nathan Paulin to film them in their roles dancing above the void.
Early this spring I received a call from Swiss climber Nina Caprez, who is working on a dance show called “Corps Extrêmes” (Extreme Bodies). She was originally contacted by Rachid Ouramdane’s team to participate in his next dance show with slackliner Nathan Paulin.
Nathan Paulin is a highline performer and acrobat, and he holds several world records. Highlining consists of setting up a slackline tens or even hundreds of meters off the ground. A slackline is length of webbing tensioned between two cliffs that you walk back and forth across similar to a tightrope. Nathan has earned fame for his extraordinary feat at the Eiffel Tower, his world records, and for participating in France’s 2019 Telethon.
For once, I was just a cameraman on a project. The director of photography for this film was Jean-Camille Goimard, from the production company Au Delà du Bleu. I was hired primarily to shoot footage of Nina climbing. It was nice not being the director or producer, not having to think of, manage, and organize everything. Having a single role as a contract cameraman allowed me to focus on the camera angles, technique, framing, and being creative.
Corps Extrêmes by Rachid Ouramdane
This is one of the reasons that pushed me to become an independent filmmaker: to be able to work in sports, as well as culture, dance, music, fiction… It is fulfilling to explore other fields, to step out of my comfort zone, and to meet new people..
Rachid Ouramdane is a choreographer and dancer who has worked for the National Choreographic Center in Grenoble, France (CCN2). He was recently promoted to Director of Chaillot National Theater, one of five national theaters in France.
For his next show entitled, Corps Extrêmes (a reference to extreme sports), Rachid Ouramdane mixes grace and sports performance by high-level athletes in a theater, with the professional dancers and athletes from the theater company XY.
Climbing and slacklining intermix with dancing in front of a big screen that shows the video footage. My role was to film in a natural décor, with the footage projected onto the big screen during each performance. Here is a behind-the-scenes look at Corps Extrêmes.made by France Info.
Verdon Gorge half full
The Verdon Gorge is a legendary spot for multi-pitch climbing and highlining. Nina Caprez and Nathan Paulin travel on a regular basis to this unique location to climb, hike, or simply take a break. The vertigo-inducing void sucks us in immediately, and the views from the Escalès lookout point are simply breathtaking. So it’s only natural that the production team decided to shoot footage in such an extraordinary place.
This dance performance will tour all over France this year, stopping in Annecy, Paris, Montpellier, and in several other cities. For more information on Rachid Ouramdane’s show: “Corps Extrêmes”.
Here is a short video with a few clips filmed by Jean-Camille Goimard and Guillaume Broust, including some that will be shown on a big screen surrounding the dancers and athletes during Corps Extrêmes performances.
Sneak preview Footage from the shoot
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Nathan Paulin staying dry over the breathtaking Verdon Gorge.
Nina Caprez on a mission for the Impossible Shot on Claudia (8a / 5.13b), Escalès Wall.
Can you guess how we took this shot? 😉
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The entire Corps Extrêmes film crew, from left to right: Guillaume Broust, Romain Cocheril, Nina Caprez, Nathan Paulin, Jean-Camille Goimard, Pierre Escande, and Rachid Ouramdane.