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Ballerina (2006)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | TV Movie 3 November 2007
2:11 | Trailer

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This documentary gives insight to the lives of five ballerinas, all at different points in their careers. Looking at the operations of the Vagonova Academy and the Mariinsky Theatre, the life of a ballerina is disclosed.


Bertrand Normand





Credited cast:
Taylor Ash Taylor Ash ... Herself (as Taylor Snow)
Altynai Asylmuratova Altynai Asylmuratova ... Herself - Artistic Director Vaganova Ballet Academy
Diane Baker ... Narrator
Olga Chenchilova Olga Chenchilova ... Herself - Ballet Master
Andrian Fadeyev Andrian Fadeyev ... Himself - (principal dancer)
Valery Gergiev ... Himself - Mariinsky Theater Artistic Director
Cédric Klapisch ... Himself - Film Director
Pierre Lacotte Pierre Lacotte ... Himself - Choreographer
Manuel Legris Manuel Legris ... Himself - Paris National Opera Principal Dancer
Uliana Lopatkina Uliana Lopatkina ... Herself, Ballerina
Olga Moiseyeva Olga Moiseyeva ... Herself - Ballet Teacher
Evguenya Obraztsova Evguenya Obraztsova ... Herself, Ballerina
Jayme Ratzer Jayme Ratzer ... Ballerina
Ludmila Safronova Ludmila Safronova ... Herself - Teacher at Vaganova Ballet Academy
Alina Somova Alina Somova ... Herself, Ballerina


This documentary gives insight to the lives of five ballerinas, all at different points in their careers. Looking at the operations of the Vagonova Academy and the Mariinsky Theatre, the life of a ballerina is disclosed.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An intimate portrait of five ballerinas from the Kirov.


Documentary | Music


Not Rated | See all certifications »





French | Russian

Release Date:

3 November 2007 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Balarina See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,596, 23 January 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$113,222, 12 June 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


"Romeo & Juliet, Op. 64' composed by Sergei Prokofiev
conducted by P. Bubelnikov
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User Reviews

From Russia with love: the making of a Prima ballerina - rigorously classic, regally single-minded, and renowned elegance in every way
26 April 2009 | by ruby_fffSee all my reviews

Filmmaker Bertrand Normand from France went to Russia to follow the career path of five Prima ballerinas, 2 budding and growing, 1 being groomed and cultivated, 2 renowned and established with one coming back after being away for two years (to nurse an injury and a new baby). The film has its systematic approach not dissimilar to the training of a young ballerina at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersberg, intent on providing a glimpse to the making of Prima ballerinas, with inclusion of full presentation of stage performances by each of the featured ballerinas - simply beautiful with all the refined qualities of classic, regal and elegant movements of what a Prima ballerina from Russia possesses. Film is essentially in Russian and French with voice-over narration by Diane Baker in English.

"Ballet Russes" (2005) the film written & directed by Geller and Goldfine gave us the magnificent times and personal history with plenty of anecdotes from many memorable ballerinas (men and women) of the Russian ballet companies through the years. While Normand's "Ballerina" gives us an insight to the modern day ballet world of Russia in mere 80 minutes, featuring the five chosen ballerinas from the Mariinsky Theatre and is able to capture our interest and fascinate us, without a doubt.

Training for ballerinas in Russia is very much 'single-mindedly' focused on everything ballet, dancing techniques and artistry, specific dancer-target body and limbs development, and practice, practice, practice. Alina the youngest promising student from Vaganova Academy was selected to join the Kirov Ballet Company and gets to earn the chance to debut as the Black Swan in "Swan Lake" at age 17. Her fellow outstanding student Evguenya also get to join the Kirov, even tried an acting role in a film; she is maturing well and longing to be principal dancer as Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet." The expressive Svetlana has been given (groomed for) solo dancer status direct from the Academy and is now a Prima ballerina at the Bolshoi. Diana with her distinctive look and skill is well sought after by international ballet companies and she gets to travel outside of Russia to deliver performances abroad. From the brief interview exchanges, her Prima ballerina profession is well-anchored and blossoming with diverse (vs. traditional/classical) dance roles offered especially to her. Veteran 'come-back' Prima ballerina Ulyana is simply mesmerizing to watch. Alina and young ballerinas all look up to her. Check out the film's trailer at "firstrunfeatures.com/trailer_ballerina.html" - Ulyana is the initial ballerina featured in the first 30 seconds, including the one in lean fiery red - the stillness in her limbs and fluid slender body movements are breathtaking, and such joy exudes from her smile with baby in arms.

Unlike another First Run Features documentary on ballerinas by French filmmaker Nils Tavernier: "(Tout pres Des) Etoiles - dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet" (2001) which is a more comprehensive behind the scenes account with plenty of interviews and conversations with multiple ballerinas, female and male, budding and seasoned, including discussions of retiring age, post-retirement notions, Normand's "Ballerina" contains complete pieces of professional on-stage performances admirable for any audience. Besides being the writer and director of the film, he is also one of the many photographers who delivered the cinematic captures we get to enjoy.

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