Dancing in the Desert: Watch a New Short Film From Richard Mille

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W I T H I N, 2020 dance
W I T H I N, 2020(Film still)

Dance meets design in a new short film from choreographer Benjamin Millepied and composer Thomas Roussel, which celebrates Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille’s RM 72-01 timepiece

Choreographer Benjamin Millepied and composer Thomas Roussel have joined forces to create a new short film shot in Joshua Tree, California.

The film celebrates the beauty and technicality of Richard Mille’s new watch, the RM 72-01 – the Swiss brand’s first timepiece that is equipped with a flyback chronograph produced entirely in-house. The label describes the watch as “as much a high-technology product as a metronome of the emotions” and a “hybrid watch, a point where art and technology meet”.

To mark the launch of the timepiece, Richard Mille turned to two friends of the brand – Millepied and Roussel – to create a short film that illustrates the spirit of the RM 72-01. Entitled Within, the resulting film is both choreographed and captured by Millepied and soundtracked by an original composition by Roussel. Together, their work is defined by “resolutely singular vision and an obsession with perfect timing and harmonious movement”.

The film was shot in the sparse and arid plains of the Joshua Tree desert, an elemental landscape selected by Millepied for its room to allow “raw human energy to express itself”. In this extreme setting, two dancers walk, run and swirl together in the desert – their watches glittering in the sunlight – while Roussel’s dramatic orchestral score plays in the background. “I enjoyed filming such energy in a landscape like that. By drawing on the expertise of our technical team, I wanted to produce a marriage of art and technology,” says Millepied. “In order to capture something more alive, more real, more sincere, I purposefully gave [the dancers] tremendous freedom.”

From Millepied’s energising footage, contemporary composer Roussel created a stirring and mysterious score inspired by the “primordial pulse” of the Richard Mille chronograph RM 72-01. “I started composing from Benjamin’s shots to find the right rhythm and tempo for the choreography,” Roussel explains of the rhythmic composition, which matches the raw, unbridled energy of the dancers. “It’s the role of a composer for a film to enhance and serve the film.”

Reflecting on the partnership with Richard Mille, Millepied says, “dancers and musicians are like watchmakers, because we all perfect our art with discipline. We share a common inspiration, rich in meaning, around time, space and choreography.” Roussel adds that, “watches, immutable as objects and through their precision, are also creations that convey emotions”.

Watch the film below.