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First Position

4.7 out of 5 stars 196 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

For the young dancers at the Youth America Grand Prix, one of the world's most prestigious ballet competitions, lifelong dreams are at stake. With hundreds competing for a handful of elite scholarships and contracts, practice and discipline are paramount, and nothing short of perfection is expected. Bess Kargman's award-winning documentary, FIRST POSITION, follows six young dancers as they prepare for a chance to enter the world of professional ballet, struggling through bloodied feet, near exhaustion and debilitating injuries all while navigating the drama of adolescence. A showcase of awe-inspiring talent, tenacity and passion, FIRST POSITION paints a thrilling and moving portrait of the most gifted young ballet stars of tomorrow.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Aran Bell, Gaya Bommer Yemini, Michaela DePrince, Joan Sebastian Zamora, Miko Fogarty
  • Directors: Bess Kargman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: October 30, 2012
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008LC8RKE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,022 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kcorn TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 9, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
No one in our family has been especially drawn to ballet and yet we were totally immersed in this compelling documentary. First Position is one of those rare films which dancers probably won't want to miss and non- dancers could find surprisingly enjoyable. I'm surprised it hasn't received national attention and major press coverage- or has it and I somehow missed it?

The director of First Position offers a close- up and intimate portrait of a group of young dancers preparing to compete in an elite (and potentially life changing) competition and wisely steps back and lets the dancers, their instructors, and parents reveal the details of their lives.

It is amazing that some have even had the opportunity to dance. Michaela was adopted from Sierra Leone, miraculously beating the odds to come to America. Joan Sebastian only sees his parents a few times a year because he has to live in New York instead of Columbia to pursue his dreams. One girl is home schooled so there is more time for dance class, a life which seems very isolated but she is so passionate about ballet that she doesn't appear to mind.

Until watching this film, I had no idea that ballet could cause so many injuries. Pain is taken for granted. I winced when I saw the blackened toenails, cuts and bruises which were revealed as the ballet shoes were removed.

It was a brilliant decision to reveal the daily lives of these dancers and to ramp up the suspense and reveal unexpected challenges as the competition drew near. By that time, we were rooting for each dancer and holding our breath as they performed in the finals.
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I normally don't write reviews, but I had to for this. I am a ballet dancer and thought it would be a cute documentary, but nothing really engaging. I was completely wrong! The amazing things the young people can do never ceases to amaze me. I highly recommend this feature presentation as soon as it is available on dvd. Meanwhile, I'm going to watch it a second and third time in the theaters.
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Format: DVD
As the grandmother of a dancer, this film portrayed the hard work and sacrifices that are made. However, it is not only the dancer that makes the sacrifices, but the family as well. The beauty of it all is amazing, but it is constant training. Just like a muscle builder a dancer must train daily. This film looks into the lives of 6 dancers, sometimes funny, but most of all it is inspiring, well done and a film to watch over and over. I don't understand why this did not get national attention.
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This is a movie about kids who can be characterized by Baryshnikov words:"I don't want people who want to dance; I want people who have to dance"
1 hour 35 minutes you will hold your breath watching those kids, however they are kids in life, on stage they are adults!!! With strength and passion and love!
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Format: Amazon Video
I watched this twice in 24 hours - once with my husband and once with my kids, ages 6-8. It was a hit with all of us, and only myself and one of my daughters actually likes ballet. It centers on several aspiring young dancers, ages 9-17, all of whom are training to compete in the most important world ballet competition, at which many scholarships and company positions are offered annually. It's a make-or-break situation for all of these dancers, who have sacrificed their childhoods in pursuit of their art, and a career in it. The dancers profiled include an adopted orphan from wartorn Sierra Leone, a teen Colombian boy who would be the first from his country to gain entry into a major ballet company, and many others, each with compelling personal dramas. Although the dancing is superb, it's the personal stories that keep you engaged, and this film does a great job of telling them.
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This film takes you behind the scenes of the world of ballet and all of the ups and downs that dancers go through for their dream. Not only do you get to see what a world wide competition is like for these kids (they are aged 11-17), but it is also a great combination of personal stories that have you rooting for the dancers.

I think the personal aspect of it is really what makes this a great film, even if you have no interest in dancing, it is easy to relate to people who have a dream and will do whatever it takes to make it a reality. I have a lot of respect for the dancers and all of their hard work. Their injuries rival those of professional sports players, but the joy they have and share for ballet really shines through.

PS If you liked Breaking Pointe on the CW you will definitely enjoy First Position.
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Format: DVD
A thrilling documentary about aspiring dancers, entering the most prestigious ballet competitions, where lifelong dreams are at stake. I remember attending one dance recital after another for my daughters for many years when they were young, simply enjoying tap and ballet. I was amazed watching this film on gifted young ballet stars as hundreds compete for a handful selected for contracts and scholarships. The discipline and the passion portrayed by the dancers is Remarkable, trying their best to show perfection. Mesmerizing, Enjoyable, and Entertaining throughout. At times, it was like watching the young lady who performed in Flashdance, where every move was being watched and tested, Breathtaking and Highly Recommended!
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