This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Friday, February 8, 2013

For The Love Of Dance: First Position

When I was four years old, my mother enrolled me in ballet classes.  I continued studying dance at Omaha's Entenman Studio Of Dance until I graduated from high school.  My mother has a closet full of my old tutus, leotards, sequined hats, pink tights, and pointe shoes.  Over the years, I've studied ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, and Middle-Eastern bellydance.  Even when I haven't formally been studying dance, I've been known to spin around and 'bust a move' in the comfort of my own living room.

Dance brings me calm, a sense of enjoyment, a joy for life.  Somewhere along the line, I realized I'd never be good enough to pursue dance professionally.  However, I do have an amazing appreciation for the beauty and artistry of dance and a high level of respect for young dancers who set out to follow their dreams of dancing professionally.  Dance is an art form that is easy to love, but unbelievably difficult to pursue as a career.

First Position is a dance documentary which provides a rare glimpse into the varied lives of six beautifully talented young dancers as they prepare to compete at the Youth America Grand Prix.   All of these young adults, some of them mere children,  genuinely love dance.  Even though dance training consumes their young lives, one gets a sense that they wouldn't want it any other way.  Filmmaker Bess Kargman, studied dance at Boston Ballet School.  By watching the film, it's obvious that she knows this world.  She's been there.  First Position is her first film, and it's an excellent one at that.  It premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

There's a sadness in knowing that, no matter how much talent or perseverance they have, few dancers are able to make a living at it.  There's a heartbreak in knowing that dance careers, by their very nature, are short-lived. But there's a beauty in knowing that dance in all its many forms brings joy to people around the world.

First Position is now available for viewing on Netflix, Video On Demand, and iTunes.

Copyright © 2013 by KLiedle

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