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A film by Bertrand Normand

77 minutes, documentary, color, 2006
In Russian, English & French w/English subtitles

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In the grand tradition of the Ballets Russes comes a portrait of five Russian ballerinas from the Mariinsky Theatre (also known as the Kirov).

Behind any great ballerina lies the discipline and rigor that comes from decades of training and practice. Superstars like Nijinsky, Baryshnikov and Pavlova established the reputation of Russian dancers as the best in the world. The five dancers profiled in this revealing film are tough, insightful and exceptionally talented; onstage they reveal no hint of the sweat, pain and hard work of the rehearsal studio.

From Swan Lake to Romeo and Juliet, from the backstage studio to performing on stages around the world, Ballerina captures the sublime beauty of ballet, in all its resplendent glory.

Featuring Diana Vishneva, Svetlana Zakharova, Ulyana Lopatkina, Alina Somova and Evgenia Obraztsova.


"Enchanting!" - Chicago Sun-Times

"A jewel of a documentary." - Washington Post

"Dazzling, breathtaking!" - Boston Globe

"A revelation!" - Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Dance aficionados will be sent over the moon!" - Chicago Tribune

"Highest rating! Itís like having a front row seat at some of the best ballet youíll ever see. A superb, beautiful film." - KCBS Radio, San Francisco

"A perfect complement to Ballets Russes!" - Variety

"A surprisingly intimate portrait of what it means to be a ballerina...captures their fragility, and ferocity." - Time Out New York

"Elegant, gorgeous, graceful... Even those skeptical of ballet will likely be entranced. Mesmerizing!" - Washington City Paper

"Parts the curtain on a rarefied realm where the bodies of young girls are stretched, twisted and sent floating on air according to the dictates of a severe and beautiful cult."
- The New York Times

"Criticís Pick! A striking lesson in balletís rigorous aesthetic alchemy." - Village Voice

Recommended Reading

Valery Gergiev and the Kirov: A Story of Survival by John Ardoin

Ballet's Magic Kingdom: Selected Writings on Dance in Russia, 1911-1925 by Akim Volynsky

Grace Under Pressure: Passing Dance Through Time by Barbara Newman


See details about this film's theatrical run.

The Mariinsky Theatre official website

Dancer Diana Vishneva's official website

Dancer Svetlana Zakharova 's official website

Director Bertrand Normand's official website

Disc Features

●  Photo Gallery
●  Filmmaker Biography
●  Dance Film Gallery

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