Experiencing Interruptions?


After transforming Madrid's Compañía Nacional de Danza into one of the most successful dance companies in the world, Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato is fired. Soon after, the international contemporary dance icon is lured to St. Petersburg by Russian billionaire Vladimir Kekhman and given the reigns over a major classical ballet company - the first foreigner to do so in over 100 years. Duato accepts the challenge of modernizing the traditionalist Russian troupe, even as it plunges him into cultural and social isolation.

  • Ulrik Wivel
  • Alejandro Alvarez
  • Talal Al-Muhanna
  • Katrin Pors
  • Nacho Duato
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    52 hours
  • Completion Date:
    October 8, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    320,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Russian Federation
  • Language:
    English, Russian, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • ITF Prague
    Czech Republic
    October 8, 2016
    Grand Prix & Czech TV Prize
    November 16, 2014
    Danish Premiere
  • Dance on Camera
    New York
    United States
    February 12, 2016
    U.S. premiere
  • Dance Camera West
    Los Angeles
    United States
    June 16, 2016
    West Coast Premiere (USA)
    Opening Night film
Director Biography - Ulrik Wivel, Alejandro Alvarez

Ulrik Wivel (Co-Director, Director of Photography | Denmark)

Ulrik is a critically acclaimed filmmaker based in his native Copenhagen. A graduate of the Super16 program of Nordisk Film, his films include the portrait films “Dancer” and “Staceyann Chin”. In 2003 he directed the dance film “Urge” followed by the award-winning films “This is Me Walking” and “I You Love”. In 2008 he co-wrote and directed the critically acclaimed fiction feature “Comeback” and the feature documentary “Roskilde”.

Alejandro Alvarez (Co-Director | Canada/USA)

2007-2008 The Oxford School of Drama
1987-1991 National Ballet School of Canada PERFORMING

DEEP SLEEP-Writer/Director 2010 Short Film
32 Official Selections in International Film Festivals
London Independent Film Festival 2011 -­‐ Best International Short Film
Mountain Film Festival 2011 - Best Screenplay
LLV Film Festival 2010- Winner Best Actress – Amy Cudden, Winner Best Supporting Actor – Anton Lesser Fear No Film Festival 2010- Grand Jury Honourable Mention
Official Best of Fest Award 2010
California Film Awards 2010 - Silver Award
LE TRAC-Writer/Director 2007 Short Film
Los Angeles International Latino Film Festival 2007
Cinemafest Puerto Rico 2007
Wildsound Film Festival-Best of International Films, Toronto, Canada 2007

“WONDERLAND” - Artistic and Dramaturge Assistant - full-length ballet by Shawn Hounsell for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Compania Nacional de Danza, Frankfurt Ballett,
Mannheim Ballett,
Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Feld/Ballets NY.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Motivated by our past experiences as dance artists, our current exploration as filmmakers is concerned with asking what is the universal thread that leads artists towards a path of unrelenting creativity? By relating Duato’s remarkable narrative to others we hope to understand what can be the source of such inspiration and thereby deepen the viewer’s – and our own - conception of the nature of the creative process in all its sublime but conflicted realities.

Prior to becoming filmmakers Ulrik was a dancer with the New York City Ballet - who then retired from performing to undertake film studies, later becoming a recognized filmmaker in his native Denmark. Alejandro was a dancer with Compania Nacional de Danza in Spain - who then went on to study drama and theater in England before making short award-winning films. So, for both of us, our life experiences have been profoundly influenced by the performing arts and a sense of continuous creative expression in all our endeavors. The near total immersion in dance, in particular, naturally impacts our sensibilities as filmmakers: it deepens our relation to documenting performance, it informs our understanding of the artist’s psyche and ultimately motivates our desire to translate this shared knowledge and personal feeling and experience to others through the vibrant medium of film.

Alejandro, who has previously worked for Nacho Duato in his former dance company in Madrid, brings a unique insight to the project. Having earned the trust of Duato through their past work together, Alejandro is now fortunate to be offered uninhibited access by the protagonist to his personal and professional life. That Ulrik, also as the project’s cinematographer, has a more distanced and objective relationship with Duato brings a valuable second eye to the process.

Duato has a sometime wild, if always incisive, creative temper. He possesses idiosyncrasies that lead him to unpredictable behavior and occasionally coarse commentary. These aspects of his personality and manner are being explored within the crafting of the narrative and are willingly played with by the character himself. So while the goal of the narrative is to authentically reflect his ongoing professional and personal dilemmas, the act of filming is also playing on his creative inspiration and willful participation in a self-reflexive process.
Conceptually, we feel that it is essential to maintain an observational approach, that is, Duato never acknowledges that we the filmmakers are present. We do not interview him, we do not speak to him on camera and Duato feels so at ease with this method that it allows the audience to feel as if we are not there.

Our aim is to present a dynamic and intimate portrait of Duato, as both a choreographer and as a man; by crafting a narrative that not only highlights his passion and creative genius but that brings into view what are his raw emotions and everyday dilemmas during his new life experience in Russia; so far removed from his Hispanic sensibilities, dance culture and lifestyle in Madrid that a herculean effort is required for him to navigate the cultural, creative and personal barriers he now faces. Truly a man lost in translation.

Through the making of this film we seek to show what is at the root of the protagonist’s inner drive to create (with its resulting challenges, triumphs and failures) and also how this allows us to better understand the fragile human condition in general.
We want to present a portrait of Duato that has never before been seen, to make a beautiful and raw documentary that feels like a fictional narrative. We want to show Duato’s mastery of dance through his cutting-edge choreography and capture the extraordinary journey of a man willing to start from zero to redefine his artistic place in the world, accepting loneliness and isolation because dance is his life. We see ourselves in Duato’s quest for redemption and are inspired by his relentless pursuit.