7.6/10
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First Position (2011)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 10 August 2012 (Taiwan)
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A documentary that follows six young dancers from around the world as they prepare for the Youth America Grand Prix, one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world.

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4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Miko Fogarty ...
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Jules Jarvis Fogarty ...
Himself
Michaela Deprince ...
Herself (as Michaela DePrince)
Gaya Bommer Yemini ...
Herself
Michelle Bell ...
Herself
Ryan Bell ...
Himself
Elaine DePrince ...
Herself
Charles DePrince ...
Himself
Wendy Houseknecht ...
Herself
David Houseknecht ...
Himself
Satoko Fogarty ...
Herself
Mat Fogarty ...
Himself
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Storyline

First Position follows six talented young dancers (ages 9-19) from five continents as they prepare for a worldwide ballet competition that could transform their lives overnight. Written by Production Team

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

6 dancers, 5 minutes on stage, 1 chance to make it.

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

10 August 2012 (Taiwan)  »

Also Known As:

First Position - Ballett ist ihr Leben  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$48,024 (USA) (4 May 2012)

Gross:

$894,471 (USA) (22 June 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Show detailed on  »

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| (Mastered in Logic and Avid)

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User Reviews

 
This is a great film. Why does it have such a low rating?
2 July 2012 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

First Position (2011), directed by Bess Kargman, is an excellent film about young ballet dancers. For reasons I can't understand, as I write this review, the movie carries an IMDb rating of a dismal 6.2. How can that be? Did the viewers who rated it "1" see the same film I saw?

The movie follows seven young ballet dancers as they prepare for, and then compete in, the prestigious Grand Prix competition. As pointed out in the movie, many physical activities in which people participate involve natural movements for which the human body is well suited.

Catching a baseball, swimming, or climbing a rope are not easy, but our species has the natural physical capabilities to do these things. Ballet dancing, especially en pointe ballet dancing, is not a natural activity for us. We simply are not constructed to (literally) walk on the tips of our toes. The feet have to be trained and remodeled to allow this activity to take place. And, of course, not only do ballet dancers dance on their toes, but when they are doing this they are supposed to make their movements elegant, graceful, and apparently effortless.

Although male ballet dancers don't dance en pointe, their movements are also extraordinarily difficult. One young male dancer shows us his "foot stretcher," and tells us, "It hurts a lot."

So, serious ballet dancing requires physical traits that are extraordinary, dedication so that ballet becomes central to your life, and the capability to absorb physical pain that would be "cruel and unusual punishment" if it weren't voluntary.

Director Kargman has put together a documentary that takes us inside the lives of these young dancers. We meet their coaches, their families, and their judges. Also, of course, we go to the Grand Prix with the dancers, and we learn whether they succeed or fail.

I thought the movie was honest, creative, and balanced. These young people are not "regular kids who happen to take ballet." They are dedicated, passionate, and fanatically determined to succeed. First Position brings us into the world of ballet training, and allows us to make our own decisions about the wisdom of encouraging your child to dance and compete at this level. It's a great film. Why does it have such a low rating?


17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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