On a trip to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia in January 2000, filmmaker Anne Bass came across a 16 year old boy who moved her immensely with his amazing and seemingly natural charms and ... See full summary »
On a trip to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia in January 2000, filmmaker Anne Bass came across a 16 year old boy who moved her immensely with his amazing and seemingly natural charms and grace as a dancer. Having been a longtime devotee to the world of dance herself back in the United States, Anne felt compelled to give this young boy the opportunity to leave his home and follow a dream that she felt he hadn't even yet seen for himself. From the serene countryside of Southeast Asia to the halls of the New York's School of American Ballet to the stage of the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, DANCING ACROSS BORDERS peeks behind the scenes into the world of dance and chronicles the intimate and triumphant story of a boy who was discovered, and who only much later discovered all that he had in himself. Written by
Netflix kept telling me I would like this, so I finally watched it (via streaming, also available on DVD), and boy I certainly did!
It's one of the best ballet films I've seen, if not the very best. The documentary follows a gifted young Cambodian boy dancer, Sy, from his (recreated) childhood in Cambodia, where he begged his mother to be able to attend dance classes. She said no, but he snuck off anyway to the school. He was spotted by an American during a performance, and when she went back to the U.S., she couldn't stop thinking about his enormous talent, his charisma, his exquisitely fluid movement and form, and his beauty. Since she knew that dancers in Cambodia have no future at all and that he would quickly become an impoverished fisherman, she approached ballet schools in NY and insisted that they take him on as a student.
The film then follows several years worth of Sy's training, performance, and competition in the U.S. and abroad.
Wonderfully satisfying ballet footage, well presented, and in a variety of styles and locations, within an inspirational story. Backstage highlights as well, at the nations' best ballet companies.
Really the best ballet film I've seen, and highly recommended.
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