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A straightforward documentary about five Russian ballerinas, Bertrand Normand's Ballerina is enlivened by a fairy-tale sensibility.
All Critics (26)
| Top Critics (10)
| Fresh (21)
| Rotten (5)
Dance aficionados will be sent over the moon by this compelling documentary from director Bertrand Norman, chronicling what it takes to be a prima ballerina in the Mariinski Theatre.
As dazzling as they can be in performance, the ballerinas are even more breathtaking when a camera catches them alone in the shadows, dancing only for themselves.
The movie is an admirable look into the venerable St. Petersburg company and how dancers thrive or just survive in the physically challenging world of dance.
A jewel of a documentary.
Such a brief glimpse into these women's lives and art whets the appetite for more; alas, Ballerina ends far too quickly, leaving only their willowy shadows behind.
Ballerina will be of interest mostly to balletomanes, but even folks who don't know their right foot from their left will find inspiration in the lives of these devoted dancers. Besides, who isn't moved by Swan Lake?
Behind-the-curtains has never been more ravishing nor more rewarding
This rare, behind-the-scenes dance film, which is more a profile of dancers than of the dance, shows that Russia and its famed Kirow are still the world's core of ballet.
... in its simplistic, by-the-book delivery, Ballerina does give an inkling of the blood and sweat hidden underneath the ethereal beauty of classical dance.
It's too levelheaded, too aesthetically old-fashioned and academic.
While the mysterious air of the ballerina is preserved, a chance to reveal the real people behind the iconic, ethereal image is squandered.
...Ballerina looks behind the scenes ...to offer a closer look at the system of selection, training and rehearsal which keeps Russian ballet the envy of the world.
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