Ballerina

A fond, glancing portrait of Russia’s erstwhile Kirov Ballet (now known as the Mariinsky Theatre), Ballerina roams freely among a select handful of dancers at various ages and stages of their careers, assembling a composite image of what narrator Diane Baker calls “constant metamorphosis.” On the heels of Ballets Russes but en pointe in its own right, director Bertrand Normand’s film half-consciously propagates the myth of the ballerina as delicate, ethereal creature, customarily observed from a distance in an isolating spotlight. So, what, no eating disorders, no nervous breakdowns, no sexual tensions? Maybe it’s enough that these impressive performers endure dissatisfied choreographers, effusive fans and their own physical limitations with rigorous grace.