Watch Emma Stone Do a Carefree Dance in ‘Poor Things’ | Anatomy of a Scene

How do you go about choreographing a dance sequence for a character who has never danced before? That was the challenge in this moment from “Poor Things,” which stars Emma Stone as a woman with the mind of a baby who, moment by moment, begins to find her footing.

In this scene, Bella Baxter (Stone) is at dinner with Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo), her beau of sorts. As she hears the beat of the music and sees others dancing, Bella’s body begins to instinctively move. Suddenly, she’s on the dance floor herself, doing moves she seems to be inventing that are both oddball and intriguing.

“The dance, because she’s doing it for the first time, just felt like it should be something quite primitive, slightly babylike,” the film’s director, Yorgos Lanthimos, said in an interview.

He collaborated with the choreographer Constanza Macras, with whom he also worked on “The Favourite,” to create the right mix of synergy and chaos in the movement.

Lanthimos said that he and the cinematographer Robbie Ryan used a wide-angle lens on a camera mounted on a large metal dolly as they followed the stars. Not only did the movements need to be choreographed, but the cast also had to dance around the roving camera in a way that ensured nobody got hurt.

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