Actress Brit Marling arrives at the LACMA Art + Film Gala in Los Angeles, California, November 7, 2015.
Actress Brit Marling arrives at the LACMA Art + Film Gala in Los Angeles, California, November 7, 2015. Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn

“The OA” co-creator and lead star Brit Marling (Prairie) has explained the transformative power of dance in the show. She has shared that she and Zal Batmanglij, her co-creator, have intended to present something different and get away from showing violence. That was when the idea of using movement as a language came in.

In an interview (via NY Times), Marling has explained that violence is usually utilised as a way to keep the audiences awake. But she and Batmanglij did not want to go with the trail and resorted to try something else.

“The OA” creators wanted to present something that can also similarly shock the audience or keep them awake. “I think that’s why the idea of using movement as a language started to percolate,” she said.

Marling has also shared how she and other “The OA” cast members practice for the dance movements. She shared that she and Emory Cohen (Homer Roberts) used to face a mirror for accuracy.

They have learned to move in sync, but they thought that something was missing. One day, they just chose to ignore the mirror and perform for each other. That’s how the dance moves have become so full of narrative and story.

“The movements became so possessed of narrative and story and a deep need to communicate that it became quite literally a language,” she said. She went on to share that it the dancing was filled with feelings and was so intense that they needed to stop doing it until they are on the set.

The dance movements in “The OA” season 1 was choreographed by Ryan Heffington. He has extensively worked with pop singer Sia for her music videos.

The dance moves we have seen from “The OA” season 1 are complex for precision, speed and timing. But Heffington said the cast’s efforts count.

“What is so impressive is the effort. You see it on camera, you see it in their faces, you see it in their bodies,” the New York Times quoted Heffington saying. He said it is actually about telling a specific story and having an emotional arc to it.

"The OA" centres on a young woman named Prairie who returns home after a 7-year disappearance. She claimed to have encountered near death experiences. “The OA” season 1 was shown in Australia on Netflix. Air date for its second season is expected to be announced in the near future.