First Position Friday, 03 April 2020

First Position

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    G: General.

  • The pitch:

    Very little is passé about professional ballet.

  • Starring:

    Joan Sebastian Zamora, Aran Bell, Rebecca Houseknecht, Michaela DePrince, Miko Fogarty, Jules Jarvis Fogarty, Gaya Bommer Yemini, Michelle Bell, Ryan Bell

  • Directed by:

    Bess Kergman

  • Running time:

    95 minutes

  • Rated:

    G (Australia), U (UK), NR (USA)


    Stories of civil war violence (murder, mutilation) in Sierra Leone are discussed. BB gun is shown. Children are gently slapped, manipulated into extreme stretches during training. A girl with vitiligo is referred to as 'a child of the devil'. Slitting wrists (mentioned). Blood/gore: Foot injuries are seen and discussed: blisters, redness, swelling, floor burn, bruising, scabs, split toenails. Torn ligament, stress fractures, career-ending injuries, working through injuries, severe and persistent pain (mentioned). Bandages and splints are seen. A photograph shows a man about to receive an injection.


    Form-fitting dance costumes are worn.




    Teasing, bullying, racist remarks mentioned. Religious references.


    Contemporary and classical ballet, ambition, discipline, pressure, performance, commitment, following your dream, military families, civil war, racism, adoption, scholarship, talent, ruthlessness, competition, homesickness, sacrifice, home-schooling, athleticism, pre-teen dieting and exercise, stage mums, living up to expectations, perfectionism, judging.


    Contortionist dance moves and training equipment (foot stretcher, arch exerciser). Dogs, sheep, horse. French, Spanish and Hebrew language sections (subtitled). Pre-teen weight concerns (discussed). Chicken is eaten. Peeing (mentioned).


    Delicately handled. Camera lets dancers do the performing. Touches on deeper subject matter without devolving from core themes. Gripping and fresh, startling.



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