First Position Reviews

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Rebecca Barry
Flicks.co.nz
April 25, 2013
The joy of watching lies in the purity of the dancer's passion.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Philip French
Observer [UK]
April 14, 2013
A superior example of the genre, it concentrates on six young dancers from around the world ...
Rich Cline
Contactmusic.com
April 12, 2013
Like the engaging hit documentary Spellbound, this dance competition film gets under the skin and holds us in its grip like a well-crafted thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Derek Malcolm
This is London
April 12, 2013
Anyone with an interest in dance should enjoy this documentary ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Christopher Tookey
Daily Mail [UK]
April 11, 2013
It's humane, involving and inspirational.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Antonia Quirke
Financial Times
April 11, 2013
A griping documentary following several ballet hopefuls as they prepare for an international competition.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Matthew Turner
ViewLondon
April 11, 2013
Impressively directed and superbly edited, this is an emotionally engaging documentary with likeable subjects, stunning dance sequences and a suspenseful climax.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
April 10, 2013
Undeniably effective as drama, as we ponder the varying degrees of ambition and talent driving these young people to push their bodies beyond the limit in the hope of grasping a future in the spotlight.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Emma Dibdin
Total Film
April 9, 2013
If you thought Black Swan made ballet look grim, this festival-fave documentary offers an earthier but no less griping portrait of the profession's crippling realities.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Patrick Peters
Empire Magazine
April 8, 2013
A touching look at ballet's battle-hardened youngsters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Matthew Toomey
ABC Radio Brisbane
April 7, 2013
If this film doesn't put a smile on your face, you are too hard to please.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Louise Keller
Urban Cinefile
April 6, 2013
Hopes are shared and dreams expressed during this uplifting journey in which we become involved in each of the dancers' lives. As a consequence, we have a stake in what happens and are often moved as a result of the drama and tension
Paul Gallagher
The List
January 29, 2013
Debut director Bess Kargman establishes herself as a skilled documentarian, drawing out humour and tension from the contestants' experiences without manipulating their stories for melodramatic effect.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope
January 7, 2013
First time director Bess Kargman has done a great job with this film in letting the personalities of these dancers and their families shine through.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
November 27, 2012
It's enjoyable watching the motivated youngsters pirouetting their way to success.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
August 24, 2012
An arresting documentary about the dedication and sacrifice it takes to be able to spin around like a whirling dervish on the tip of your toes without getting sickeningly dizzy.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Jennie Punter
Globe and Mail
July 19, 2012
It does a great job developing its characters through its visuals - these are superphysical kids - and honing in on family dynamics.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
July 19, 2012
If you have a yearning to feel awkward, inadequate and lazy, watching the whirling teenage (and preteen) talents in director Bess Kargman's First Position will do the trick.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Rick Kisonak
Film Threat
June 13, 2012
Far from the dutiful progeny of "Dance Moms," these are individuals of uncommon skill, self-knowledge, maturity and drive. They're the real deal. And so is First Position.
June 12, 2012
All of the dollars and expertise that produced this summer's blockbusters could never produce a spectacle as wondrous as 11-year-old Aran Bell dancing his heart out.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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