Dance? Easy. The Ballerina Tiler Peck Leaves Her Comfort Zone.

Dance? Easy. The Ballerina Tiler Peck Leaves Her Comfort Zone.


In “Ballet Now,” Ms. Peck is shown behind the scenes, racing from one rehearsal to the next, dealing with the orchestra and wolfing down sandwiches.

The actress Elisabeth Moss, one of the film’s executive producers — and a former dancer who trained at the Westside Ballet in Santa Monica, Calif., and at the School of American Ballet in New York, just like Ms. Peck — pushed for the movie’s behind-the-scenes focus.

“I love watching the normalcy mixed with the extraordinary that you see in Tiler in this film,” Ms. Moss said in an email. “She’s one of the most brilliant dancers internationally and also gets tired and sore and needs caffeine and to talk to her mom. I was struck by the similarities to many other working women.”

Ms. Moss was also involved in the editing of the film. It was important to her and Ms. Peck that this would be an accurate representation of work that went into the performances. “We didn’t want to gloss over anything, or have it be just a performance piece,” Ms. Moss said. She wanted to present a more realistic take on ballet that would show, she said, “the grit. The ugly parts. The parts that we all deal with every day in our own jobs. These dancers are no different.”

At one point in the film, Ms. Dorrance refers to Ms. Peck as a “stage beast,” and it’s true. But she’s also pragmatic, exacting and candid, qualities that Mr. Cantor, who is also one of the film’s producers, captures. “It wasn’t like he was trying to make me be something I wasn’t,” Ms. Peck said. “That was the most important thing, because I’m so tired of seeing ballet dancers being overdramatic.”

Mr. Cantor, who previously created a music video with Ms. Peck, could see that the experience of directing the show changed her, even during the course of shooting. “She went from being really nervous — ‘Oh my God, all of these people are coming in, and how am I possibly going to pull this off?’ — to almost compartmentalizing her schedule so that everybody thought she was totally attentive to their needs,” he said. “She would go from one thing to the next and be completely in the moment with people.”



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