Light dances across the water of the Amstel River that cuts through the middle of Amsterdam, drawing the lenses of a thousand camera phones a day. Boat after boat breaks the patterns and sends new shards of colour in every direction.

One of the reflections that can be seen in the water is that of the building that houses The Dutch National Ballet. In a typical mirror of the Amserdam’s heart, it is a modern majestic curve attached by a glass corridor to the municipal building, where immigrants apply for visas, teenagers collect their driving licenses and hopeful couples apply to marry. Since 1986, this connection has perfectly described the cities integral link between everyday life and art. 

At the same time this link was established, across the other side of the world, one of the companies current Principle Ballerino’s was born. Growing up in Canada, James Stout was introduced to dance via his parents Argentinian Tango club.

With a passion for movement, James would begin to train at The School of Alberta Ballet from just thirteen years old, before he moving to The Goh Ballet Academy in Vancouver. His final training would occur in London at The Royal School of Ballet.

In 2007 James Stout stepped onto the stage at The Dutch National Ballet for the first time, a move that was influenced by his admiration for Sofiane Sylve . Ten years later, James would replicate his heroine’s status and become a Principal Dancer for the company.. 

Principle Dansuer will follow James Stout for a period of 3-5 years. The film will investigate the mental and physical balance required to maintain his position; as well as the fears that present themselves when looking ahead.

Directed by Oliver Guy-Watkins
Produced by Orly Nurany & Oliver Guy-Watkins
Cinematography – John Schofield