Last week I learned that Diana Scrivener was the choreographer for the upcoming BBC television mini-series. Based on Tolstoy’s monumental classic War and Peace, the production stars Lily James, James Norton and Paul Dano. Scrivener has an impressive body of work including the choreography of a dance between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in Sherlock Holmes, Upstairs Downstairs and several episodes of Downton Abbey where she would have worked with Lily James. I’ve found Ms. Scrivener’s resume of sorts, a variety of clips from her various productions, available on Vimeo. My favorite from the video is the super sexy dance between Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe in 2010’s Robin Hood. That dance alone makes me want to watch the film!
What a joyous job she has! Getting people together on a dance floor, putting them through their paces until they can glide—or gyrate, depending on the dance—with ease.
Her task in War and Peace is the waltz between Natasha and Prince Andrei. Can a waltz be sexy? I think it probably can —it’s all about the chemistry—but frankly, while the waltz in 1956’ War and Peace starring Audrey Hepburn as Natasha and Mel Ferrar as Prince Andrei (below) is beautifully executed, it is completely lacking in the deep and sensual connection that dance provides.
Watch Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer dance
I can’t wait to see how Lily James as Natasha and James Norton as Andrei come together on the dance floor in St. Petersberg. Did I ask if a waltz can be sexy? Clearly, it can. Look at that eye contact!
Here in the states we’ll be watch #WarandPeace on Lifetime, A&E and the History Channel on January 18th.