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Ellen Page’s Expressive Modern Dance to Sylvan Esso Is Her Queerest Role Yet — Watch

The actress and producer can now add modern dancer to her résumé.

ellen page lgbt dance sylvan esso

“Slack Jaw.”


In the three years since she came out as a lesbian in 2014, Ellen Page has taken on projects that feel closer to her authentic self. She played gay opposite Julianne Moore in last year’s “Freeheld,” played sister to fellow out queer Evan Rachel Wood in “Into the Forest,” and spearheaded the complicated feminist drama “Tallulah” as executive producer and star. She is also a producer and host of VICE’s “Gaycation,” a documentary series exploring gay lives around the world.

The raw emotion Page channels in “Slack Jaw,” a short dance film set to the haunting music of electronic pop duo Sylvan Esso, may be the most intimate performance the “Juno” star has yet to put to screen. Set in a spare studio with only a metal folding chair as a prop, Page and choreographer Emma Portner alternate between fluid and tense body contact in loose grey t-shirts. At times engulfing the other, the two bodies push and pull with rigid power and fluid embraces.

The dance is sexual at times, as Page jumps to her knees and runs her face along the lines of Portner’s legs. The two dancers eventually end up on the floor, face to face underneath the imagined weight of the folding chair. As Page stares across the space between herself and her partner, her face contorts wildly with a pained expression, like someone screaming without making a sound. Without dialogue, Page is free to express something deeper in herself.

There is more than meets the eye, but it is certainly evocative of the pressures of the closet and the expectations piled onto a hot young Hollywood actress.

Watch “Slack Jaw” below:

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