Ramblings about entertainment, lifestyle and travel
Last night I watched First Position for the first time and it’s a movie that’s been on my list for quite a while. Directed by Bess Kargman, this documentary follows six dancers from around the world and all varying in age from 9-19 as they prepare to audition for the Youth America Grand Prix, one of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions. Due to being so popular for the access and opportunity it gives to aspiring dancers, it is also one of the most competitive. The young dancers all come from different backgrounds with inspiration stories of hardship and determination that is incredible no matter how you look at it.
Each one of the six dancers have to get through three stages of the competition to find out if they’ve failed or succeeded in becoming one of the judges’ ones to watch or end up with a scholarship, which depends on their age group. The film allows you to learn just enough about each dancer and why ballet is so important to them, while giving the viewer insight into the hardship and daily battles they have to go through – from having the right body to talent, support and determination.
Being part of the audience you cannot help but root for each dancer as they perform and sometimes even succumb to the pressure of winning over the judges in mere minutes. You follow their dreams, always so close to failure in an industry that asks so much of them. It’s truly remarkable what passion they feel and the determination to succeed in a profession that has a reputation for being ruthless, whether it’s due to age, circumstance or injury.
Bess Kargman succeeds in making its viewers fall in love with the dancers, no matter what their age or background, with a very simple, yet raw and emotional portrayal. First Position is a a must watch for any aspiring dancers or those who value the craft.