Royal Ballet School graduate year student to appear in film starring Keanu Reeves
Upper School student Austin Lui is currently involved in creating dance sequences for the forthcoming Universal Pictures film 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves.
Directed by Carl Erik Rinsch, the film is currently being shot at the world-famous Shepperton Studios in Surrey. The film, described as a 3D fantasy adventure, is set in 18th century Japan and follows Kai (Keanu Reeves) and a band of other warriors who are intent on avenging their master’s death and restoring honour to their community. The film is based on an ancient Japanese legend.
Auditions were held in March and were open to every professional dance school and company in the UK. A final selection of just eight dancers was made, reflecting a wide range of styles from hip-hop, break dancing, martial arts and ballet. Austin was the only ballet student selected by choreographer Olivia Pickford.
There are two dance sequences in the film. One is at a pivotal point in the film and features Japanese film legend Hiroyuki Sanada (himself a trained Japanese classical dancer and star of The Last Samurai) and the other is a fantasy sequence where the dancers represent various animals. Austin can be clearly seen in this section as a raven.
Choreographer Olivia Pickford comments: ‘Austin’s strong classical technique has really stood out and there is one section of the film where this features particularly strongly. We have all been really impressed by his artistry, professionalism and willingness to work in a team. Austin is a real credit to his teachers and to the system of training at The Royal Ballet School.’
47 Ronin is scheduled for release in November 2012.
Pictured: Austin Lui (centre) with the other dancers at Shepperton Studios.
Photo: Courtesy of Shepperton Studios.