First Position

Film, Documentaries
3 out of 5 stars
First Position

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Five thousand young hopefuls from all over the world enter the annual Youth America Grand Prix, a dance contest for kids from nine to 19. A mere 200 make the final – watched by talent-spotters from major ballet companies. Scholarships and contracts are on offer, so competition is intense, heaping the pressure on these young hopefuls and their families. This attentive doc follows a well-chosen cross-section, having us cheer for the Colombian lad aiming to be the next Carlos Acosta and the athletic black girl whose adoptive American parents rescued her from war-torn Sierra Leone, yet also showing us a milieu rich with pushy stage moms and self-satisfied little princesses. Director Bess Kargman’s camera barely misses a nuance, and if the talent-show format has grown a little tired, it’s undeniably effective as drama, as we ponder the varying degrees of ambition and talent driving these young people to push their bodies beyond the limit in the hope of grasping a future in the spotlight.

By: Trevor Johnston



Release details

Release date:
Tuesday April 9 2013
95 mins

Cast and crew

Bess Kargman
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