There’s a heart-breaking admission in Ermenegildo Zegna’s latest “Defining Moments” video, where dancer Benjamin Millepied, who shot into the spotlight after marrying Black Swan star Natalie Portman following his choreography work on the film, tells legendary actor Robert De Niro: “By the time you’re 40, as a dancer, it’s over.”
Himself 40, Millepied’s statement begs the question: How does a dancer deal with his or her inevitably short shelf life after having dedicated a lifetime to his or her craft? After all, De Niro at the age of 40, seven years after his Raging Bull physical prime, had the advantage of choice as an actor – he could choose to work out daily like a dancer to keep in shape. He did not need to give up his career evidently, as now, at the age of 74, he is still in the limelight.
The two artistes compare the effect of ageing and more as they stroll the streets of New York City in the second instalment of the “Defining Moments” series. The videos feature conversations from successful individuals of different ages and cultural backgrounds. It’s not all about contrasts. Despite coming from two differerent places – Millepied was born in Bordeaux and grew up in Senegal, and De Niro a son of Greenwich Village – the two agree on their attraction to New York City. Here, culture reigns and aspirations are realised. Each shares observations about life and craft amid shots of a cool, sunlit city in the fall – for which they are impeccably dressed, of course.