Bertrand Normand could well be Dmitry Medvedev’s nom de auteur, as Ballerina has the feel of a propaganda puff piece put out by the Russian tourist board. The five dancers featured all cheerfully announce that being a ballerina is hard work, but worth it. A Midwestern, twangy voiceover (Diane Baker’s) announces that the Russians still love themselves some ballet, even 20 years after perestroika. Baker’s pronunciation is defiantly American; she can’t even get her tongue around a simple Nureyev. In addition to the badly edited footage of stage performances, the camerawork is careless: Rehearsing dancers wobble in and out of the frame, proving that even skinny dancers need wide-angle lenses.
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