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Filmmakers Discuss Netflix’s Matilda the Musical Dance Scene – ‘Red Beret Girl Viral Dance’

Netflix's Matilda the Musical Dance Scene

Netflix’s Roald Dahl’s Matild the Musical drops on the streaming service tomorrow, December 25th. The film is adapted from the stage show, directed by Tony Award-winning director Matthew Warchus, who also directed the stage version. Already, one of the dance scenes, “Revolting Children,” has captivated TikTok audiences, much to the surprise of choreographer Ellen Kane. I had the opportunity to sit down with both Matthew Warchus and Ellen Kane to discuss what went into creating the famous dance number and more behind-the-scenes tidbits. Check out my interview with Netflix’s Matilda the Musical director Matthew Warchus and choreographer Ellen Kane about the famous dance scene.

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Netflix’s Matilda the Musical Dance Scene

When choreographer Ellen Kane was asked about Netflix’s Matilda the Musical dance scene, and particularly the viral sensation of “Revolting Children,” which has taken TikTok by storm, Kane responded, “I don’t do social media but my son does, so he was taken aback when JoJo Siwa was doing the dance and told me about the Missy Elliott thing, as well.” Kane, whose theater credits include Legally Blonde and Billy Elliot, admits that she had never thought about dance connecting with the Gen Z generation in such a way, but as a choreographer, she admits, “Watching the younger generation be inspired by dance, for me, that’s the biggest thing I’ve taken away from it. The TikTok side of it, there is a whole world there really, isn’t there?” Indeed.

Netflix's Matilda the Musical Dance Scene

So, what went into making Netflix’s famous Matilda the Musical dance scene? “A lot of planning,” director Matthew Marcus admits. “The famous bit {Revolting Children}, if you look at it carefully, there is no editing in it. We did it in one shot—well, it was a series of long shots. And we just kept repeating it, the shots, until all the elements were as good as they needed to be.” Marcus goes on to share that one of those shots took about 100 to 200 hours of preparation. Repeating these shots at exhaustion can take a toll on the 300+ child dancers that were included in the making of it, which Kane says was a struggle to keep their energy up. For her, one of the biggest challenges was navigating that energy level to keep the frame alive and also keep the children safe. “They are all working at their maximum potential at quite an extraordinary speed. Then you have the parkour children, flipping off of lockers and just coming out of nowhere. There were so many elements alongside just the nature of the travel of the camera, and then for the children to feel safe and familar with that, so that they can then perform and sing.”

One of the big things that I didn’t realize,” Marcus adds, is that this story “is going to find a new audience. People who don’t normally go to the theater and perhaps don’t even know that it was a stage show. Through Netflix its going to be reaching millions of people. The audience for the story is going to be exponentially bigger than it has ever been before. That was one of the most exciting things.

Check out more of the interview with Netflix’s Matilda the Musical Director Matthew Marcus and Choreographer Ellen Kane below:

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