Written May 27, 2012
You do not have to like ballet to LOVE this film. It shows devotion, beauty, heart, character, tenacity--all the ups and downs that every aspiring dancer faces (no different than what the best sports documentaries show too). Ask anyone in the dance community, including those who don't dance competitively, and they will tell you its impossible to script something like this. The ballet world is so unpredictable, injuries can wipe out the best dancers in seconds, and judging artistry is largely subjective. This film is so clearly not just about winning, it's about the journey...and it doesn't hide the fact that ballet competitions are controversial--it shows both sides and allows the viewer to come to his/her own conclusions.
Written May 10, 2012
While this film is interesting in that it affords a rare inside view into the world of ballet competitions, it is quite misleading in several respects. Most importantly, there is no forewarning that this is really an 'infomercial' for Youth America Grand Prix enterprise and that the film's director and the YAGP owners were totally in cahoots from the beginning. Hence, for example, one of the featured competitors (the very promising Aran Bell of Italy-via-USA) is depicted as if he were competiting for the first time in the youngest division when, in fact, he not only competed the previous year (2009) but won the whole freakin' division (the same top prize that he 'surprisingly' wins in 2010, when the film was made). Phoney baloney...but still an interesting film to see. Just be sure to watch it with a grain of salt, knowing that a lot of it is 'scripted.'
Written June 12, 2012
An outstanding film, pivotal in addressing the magnetism of the classical world of ballet, is "The Red Shoes" made in 1948 and starring Moira Shearer and Anton Walbrook; why pursue an art form that cripples, deforms, eliminates childhood, loves; rewards: fleeting, ephemeral?
Bess Kargman's "First Position" answers the question as she delves into the the lives and psyches of seven children struggling to compete in the Youth America Grand Prix; five thousand world wide participants, pared down to three hundred; eventually only a handful will garnish trophies and scholarships...
"First Position" touches upon, clarifies the illusive, messianic power that sabotages and monopolizes those individuals who live only to dance and dance only to live!
for full review please visit peneflix.com
Written March 17, 2013
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