First Position

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We’ve seen two theatrical shows in the last week – one musical (“On Your Toes”) and one drama (“Nikolai and the Others”) — that have featured ballet segments. These reminded us of the wonderful documentary we watched a few months ago by Bess Kargman about a ballet competition. The film follows six young dancers, aged 10 to 17, as they prepare for and then compete in the Youth America Grand Prix. Their travails—injuries, exhaustion, adolescence — underscore the indelible lyric, “art isn’t easy,” from Stephen Sondheim’s “Putting it Together.” But watching the film is both easy and thrilling. It’s available on Netflix streaming. (View the trailer here.)

–Ben Rosen

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