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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Film: “First Position”

Winner of numerous prestigious film awards, this is a summer family movie not to be missed.  If you enjoy hard work, determination, and young people set on making their dreams come true, “First Position” is the film to see.

It centers around six ballet dancers that the documentary film crew follows, one an adoptee from Sierra Leone, whose Jewish-American adoptive mom dies elastic straps brown for her daughter’s dance costumes to match her skin tone that’s not so usual for a ballerina.  Then there’s the 16-year-old young man from Cali, Columbia, whose parents counsel him that there is no future for him there, and even though they’re apart and miss him, he must do his best.

We see the dancers, and their coaches, and their parents.  Sometimes the parents overstep their roles as in the Japanese-American mother who reminds her daughter to smile – smile – smile, and the Russian coach must step in and say, “Only if she wants to smile.”  He coaches the girl and her brother, one of whom is committed to ballet, and the other – well, not so much.

These six dancers are part of 5,000 competing in the international Grand Prix ballet competition, whereby they earn scholarships and the older ones, possible contracts to exclusive ballet institutions, such as the American Ballet Theatre, or the Royal Ballet.  Judges come to see who’s up and coming.  One false move for a 9 to 19 year old, and it could be the end of their career.

The pressure is on, the film taking viewers through the semi-final and final rounds with plenty of suspense.  We found ourselves cheering for our own favorites… and finding out what happened to them in the end.

It showcases young men and young women, boys and girls.  I thought our boys would be able to appreciate the athleticism involved in the discipline, but frankly, they could have lived without it.  Meanwhile, the girls, Benedetto and I were wowed by the real life stories and the cinematography.

Fresh-faced, earnest, enthusiastic young people working with passion toward their goals.  In select American theatres now, Canada in July, worldwide in the fall, along with Netflix and other options.  Don’t miss it.  http://www.balletdocumentary.com/in-movie-theaters/

 

 

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