First Position Trailer (2011)


In the competitive world of classical dance, practice, discipline and perfection are paramount. First Position is a documentary that follows six young dancers as they compete for awards and elite scholarships at one of the most prestigious children’s ballet competitions in the world: the Youth America Grand Prix.

Dancers from around the globe travel to New York each year for this hard-earned chance to compete. Eleven-year-old Aran lives in Naples, Italy, with his United States– military family and travels two hours every morning to practice with his French ballet teacher in Rome. Adopted from an orphanage in Sierra Leone when she was very young, fourteen-year-old Michaela dreams of going to the American Ballet Theatre’s JKO School. Seventeen-year-old Rebecca is finishing high school, looks like the quintessential classical ballet dancer and hopes to find a paid position with a corps de ballet, even though opportunities are slim. In a ballet-driven family, ten-year-old Jules and twelve-year-old Miko train together daily, but differ in their passion and commitment to the art form. Born in Colombia but separated from his family because of training, sixteen-year-old Joan works tirelessly in the hopes of landing a scholarship with the Royal Ballet School in London.

Director Bess Kargman interviews the competitors, their families, their ballet teachers and choreographers, and we learn of the many sacrifices — physical, emotional and financial — all for the sake of ballet. The kids’ love for dance helps them struggle through bloodied feet, near exhaustion and debilitating injuries, all while navigating the drama and changes that come with adolescence.

These beautiful and graceful dancers make it all seem so effortless onstage, yet entering the world of professional ballet and making it a career requires an extra reserve of tenacity, talent and passion. First Position introduces us to some of the most gifted young ballet stars of tomorrow. Be prepared to be moved and inspired by their stunning and memorable performances.

This film is recommended for ages nine and up.

N.B. Brief scene of a man smoking; one disturbing image of a child solider and a graphic story of civil war.

2 min 33 sec


Posted On
September 08, 2011
Bess Kargman

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Sundance Selects

September 22, 2011
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Trailer Tracks
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