Everything about this short film is perfection. The incredible classical ballerina Marianela Nuñez dancing to Nina Simone — all choreographed by Will Tuckett. If you were going to come up with a dream team for a dance project, this might have seemed like an unthinkable mashup. Seeing it in reality is simply extraordinary.

You might not normally associate classical ballet with being sultry, but this performance smolders. It’s a brilliant collaboration that allows both an intimate study of a single performer and makes you rethink ballet as a medium. Bold, brave, and oozing sexuality, it showcases Nuñez’s talent in such clever, brave ways. She has made a name for herself not only as a principal at the Royal Ballet, but through her huge range and versatility as a performer. A total perfectionist, she’s always looking to improve. “You grow up as an artist, and also as a person, so every time you revisit a role you see it with different eyes,” she explained. “If I do a ballet I’ve done 300 times, it still feels like it’s the first time. I just want to keep growing. I still want more from myself and from the ballets.”

You can see her performance here:

NELA from Andy Margetson on Vimeo.

Marianela Nuñez is a consummate performer — but NELA shows her immense talent in a new, triumphant light.