Office: (519) 913-0312 Info:(519) 913-0313

First Position

6 Dancers. 5 Minutes on stage.
1 Chance to make it.

Yes, it is possible to create a gripping documentary about the ballet world without resorting to Black Swan melodramatics. This crisply edited and uncommonly observant film tracks a handful of gifted young people as they prepare for and compete in the Youth America Grand Prix, which claims to be the most comprehensive contest of its kind in the world. To the winners go (depending on their age) professional contracts or scholarships to the world’s leading ballet academies. In her first feature, Bess Kargman, who abandoned a dancing career at 14, reveals immense sympathy for her subjects, hailing from Colombia, Israel, and the U.S. She doesn’t hesitate to show us the little triumphs as well as the ego-crushing disappointments along the way. Resilience, fortunately, is part of these kids’ DNA. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of First Position is the relationship between aspirant and teacher. One need only compare the methods of the bearish Italian coach Denys Ganio with the tough-love approach of the Bay Area’s Viktor Kabaniaev, who doesn’t mind telling a dancer to ignore a parent’s advice, if that’s what it will take to score at a competition. Still, this is also a saga of the extent to which parents will sacrifice for their stagestruck children. There’s Aran, whose military-doctor father transfers to Italy so his son can train with Ganio. There’s Joan, whose return visit to his hometown in Colombia resonates deeply. And there’s Michaela, a Sierra Leone war orphan adopted by an older Jewish couple who treat her like a rock star. Such dedication suggests that even if these kids take no honours in the finals, they are already winners. You and I may question the value of ballet competitions, but for these youngsters, they matter tremendously. – Allan Ulrich, San Francisco Chronicle Official Trailer
Virtual cinema: 

No screenings currently scheduled.

Directed by: 
Bess Kargman
Running Time: 
Screenplay by: 

Another U7 Solutions - Web-based solutions to everyday business problems. solution.