Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: NR Length: 94 minutes
Age Appropriate for: 10+. The film is the equivalent of a PG rating, with no offensive language, violence or sexual content to speak of. The only things that may dismay young viewers are the ballet dancers’ bruised and injured feet, and the emotional toil of the high-stakes competitions.
You don’t have to be a dancer to enjoy and appreciate ‘First Position,’ a look at the world of competitive ballet that teen film ‘Center Stage’ and Oscar-winner ‘Black Swan’ didn’t quite capture correctly. ‘First Position,’ however, shows it all—and director Bess Kargman spoke with Chesapeake Family magazine about how she put it together.
By Roxana Hadadi
Culturally, we think of football, hockey, and lacrosse as the most intense sports, the kind of rigorous, violent endeavors that frequently break down players’ bodies. Ballet is more of a graceful, artistic thing, but dance documentary “First Position” shows us all the ways these dancers are true athletes—foot stretchers, hours of practice, and all. It’s an impressive, intimidating sight, an experience that makes us envy the dedication of all the dancers featured in first-time filmmaker Bess Kargman’s documentary.