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Rehearsing a Dream (2006)

 -  Documentary | Short  -  2006 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 33 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Support for the arts in America may be dwindling, but talent in our high schools isn't. Every year a group of the country's most gifted 17-year-old performing and visual artists - singled ... See full summary »

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Title: Rehearsing a Dream (2006)

Rehearsing a Dream (2006) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Storyline

Support for the arts in America may be dwindling, but talent in our high schools isn't. Every year a group of the country's most gifted 17-year-old performing and visual artists - singled out among thousands of their peers - share a week of dreams as they learn from mentors like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Vanessa Williams, Jacques d'Amboise, Michael Tilson Thomas... and from each other. For seven transformative days, the passionate young artists revel in the support, encouragement and attention they have earned. Written by Anonymous

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Documentary | Short

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User Reviews

 
The most enjoyable of the Oscar nominated short docs
1 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

To be honest, I wasn't expecting a lot out of Rehearsing a Dream, but within moments, all the enthusiasm and passion that led me toward a career in the arts came flooding back. This exquisite film captures all the excitement and trepidation of being an aspiring artist, a teenager in a strange location, and a mind open to new ideas. It's hardly an overstatement to describe this movie as a documentary masterpiece.

Each year, the American Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) hosts a week-long camp for the most talented high school artists, during which the are challenged and instructed by some of the most prominent names in their respective areas. Students take lessons from Vanessa Williams, Mikhail Barishnikov, among others and have the opportunity to meet others with the same goals, passions, and talents, not only developing their own skills, but their dedication to their arts.

At first, I was scared that I would be sitting through forty minutes of not just teenage angst and drama, but teenage artist angst and drama. Luckily, after the initial awkwardness displayed when the students got off their planes, met one another and began classes, I was so much in their mindset that I didn't care how over-dramatic they seemed. I was almost instantly catapulted back in time to my late high school years, when I was contemplating entering the world of film-making, and wondering if there were others out there like me as passionate and interested in this form of art.

The enthusiasm and passion displayed by every student shown (merely a fraction of the total at the camp) was enough to give me a second-hand high. It is inspiring to see so many artists together. What I found most fascinating was watching the young artists learn. You could see in their faces the moments of epiphany, when everything clicked. They obviously possessed such open minds, that I almost felt envious of those days when I too wanted to absorb everything I could like a sponge.

I watched six documentary films today, in a pre-Oscar marathon sponsored by The International Documentary Association, and I enjoyed Rehearsing a Dream the most. Perhaps it's because I saw so much of myself ten years ago in the film's subjects. Maybe I should attribute it to the fact that all the other movies were pretty heavy emotionally. Or I could attribute it to near-perfect execution by directors Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon. No matter what the reason, I found this to be a wonderful piece of work, and am thankful I was able to share in the passion of so many upcoming stars.


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