Quickcard Review Ballerina
Directed by: Bertrand Normand Cast: Uliana Lopatkina, Evguenya Obraztsova, Diana Vishneva Running Time: 1 hr 20 mins Rating: Unrated
Plot: Follows the stories of five ballerinas with the Kirov Ballet of St. Petersburg to give an overview of the life of a dancer.
Who’s It For? Fans of ballet, and girls who think it would be cool to grow up and be a ballerina.
Who doesn't want to be a Ballerina when they're a child? It's the dream of almost every little girl and some little boys. I always knew it was a lot of work, I've seen Fame. But yeah, being a Russian ballerina's apparently way harder than that. One of the earliest scenes shows a group of 10-year-old girls auditioning for the Kirov school. They're lined up in only their underwear, having their limbs pulled like ragdolls. The dance teachers freely admit that the children are selected as much for their body type as talent. Some of the hardest scenes to watch show the dancers stretching. It looks gorgeous on stage, but when Diana stretches her leg against the mirror in the dance studio, I was a little grossed out.
The filmmakers chose five women, each in a different stage of her career to give an idea of the rigors and rewards of the life of a working ballerina. Unfortunately, it's a short film and there doesn't seem to be enough time to establish each dancer as a distinct personality. They dance, they talk, but I never got a sense of who they were outside of dancing. The filmmaker gives tantalizing glimpses of a personal life, Diana works in Paris, one dancer took time off to be a mother, but it's always said as an aside, rather than an actual plot point. I would almost prefer a totally impersonal overview of the Kirov or a film about a specific dancer.
Final Score: 6/10