Ballerina | Chicago Reader

Ballerina

This 2006 documentary looks at five dancers in various stages of their careers with Russia's Kirov Ballet, from Alina Somova, beginning in the corps de ballet, to prima ballerina Ulyana Lopatkina, returning to dance two years after an ankle injury. Scenes of the rigorous auditions, training, and rehearsals in Saint Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre are interspersed with interviews, the artists no more forthcoming than celebrities on the talk-show circuit. Director Bertrand Normand previously did second-unit work with perky soloist Evgenia Obraztsova on Cedric Klapisch's Russian Dolls (2005), which may explain why she's the most accessible of the women profiled; you get a sense of her unflagging drive and ambition. But Normand never really conveys the tremendous personal costs entailed by ballet stardom. In English and subtitled Russian and French. 77 min.

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