I first found out about the First Position Movie by reading the book Hope in a Ballet Shoe, which is the story of one of the dancers in the movie – Michaela DePrince.
After a lot of searching, I finally managed to get myself a copy of this movie, and it is something that I am going to watch again and again. I can’t believe that nobody here in South Africa seems to have heard of this, as it is a must watch for both dancers and sportsmen alike, as it shows what goes into being the best in your field.
First Position Movie Review
Every year, thousands of aspiring young dancers enter into one of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions, the Youth America Grand Prix, where lifelong dreams are at stake.
In the final round, with hundreds of dancers competing for only a handful of elite scholarships and contracts, practice and discipline are paramount, and nothing short of perfection is expected.
This was a office hit documentary done by Bess Kargman.
Her award-winning FIRST POSITION MOVIE follows six young dancers as they prepare for a chance to enter the world of professional ballet, struggling through bloodied feet, near exhaustion and debilitating injuries, all while navigating the drama of adolescence.
First Position Dancers:
First Position Movie is a showcase of awe-inspiring talent, tenacity and passion. First Position Movie paints a thrilling and moving portrait of the most gifted young ballet stars of tomorrow.
Reviews for the First Position Movie:
“No one in our family has been especially drawn to ballet and yet we were totally immersed in this compelling documentary. First Position is one of those rare films which dancers probably won’t want to miss and non- dancers could find surprisingly enjoyable. I’m surprised it hasn’t received national attention and major press coverage- or has it and I somehow missed it?”
“The director of First Position offers a close-up and intimate portrait of a group of young dancers preparing to compete in an elite (and potentially life changing) competition and wisely steps back and lets the dancers, their instructors, and parents reveal the details of their lives.
It is amazing that some have even had the opportunity to dance. Michaela was adopted from Sierra Leone, miraculously beating the odds to come to America. Joan Sebastian only sees his parents a few times a year because he has to live in New York instead of Columbia to pursue his dreams. One girl is home schooled so there is more time for dance class, a life which seems very isolated but she is so passionate about ballet that she doesn’t appear to mind.
Until watching this film, I had no idea that ballet could cause so many injuries. Pain is taken for granted. I winced when I saw the blackened toenails, cuts and bruises which were revealed as the ballet shoes were removed.”
“It was a brilliant decision to reveal the daily lives of these dancers and to ramp up the suspense and reveal unexpected challenges as the competition drew near. By that time, we were rooting for each dancer and holding our breath as they performed in the finals.”
“I normally don’t write reviews, but I had to for this. I am a ballet dancer and thought it would be a cute documentary, but nothing really engaging. I was completely wrong! The amazing things the young people can do never ceases to amaze me. I highly recommend this feature presentation as soon as it is available on DVD. Meanwhile, I’m going to watch it a second and third time in the theaters.”
“As the grandmother of a dancer, this film portrayed the hard work and sacrifices that are made. However, it is not only the dancer that makes the sacrifices, but the family as well. The beauty of it all is amazing, but it is constant training. Just like a muscle builder a dancer must train daily. This film looks into the lives of 6 dancers, sometimes funny, but most of all it is inspiring, well done and a film to watch over and over. I don’t understand why this did not get national attention.”
“I watched this twice in 24 hours – once with my husband and once with my kids, ages 6-8. It was a hit with all of us, and only myself and one of my daughters actually likes ballet. It centers on several aspiring young dancers, ages 9-17, all of whom are training to compete in the most important world famous ballet competition, at which many scholarships and company positions are offered annually. It’s a make-or-break situation for all of these dancers, who have sacrificed their childhoods in pursuit of their art, and a career in it. The dancers profiled include an adopted orphan from war torn Sierra Leone, a teen Colombian boy who would be the first from his country to gain entry into a major ballet company, and many others, each with compelling personal dramas. Although the dancing is superb, it’s the personal stories that keep you engaged, and this film does a great job of telling them.”
After reading all the engaging reviews, I can’t wait to purchase my copy of First Position Ballet Documentary.