Introducing one of our volunteer dance reviewers, Esme Rowe:
Hi, my name is Esme Rowe, and my nickname is Mimi. I am 13 years old and I love to dance, sing, act, play the piano and do calligraphy. This is my life and I love to live it in my own way. I dance at Totnes School of Dance and I go to KEVICC’s in Totnes. In the future I would love to attend a Dance College. This year has been amazing for me, as I was selected to dance for England at the Dance World Cup in Spain. I participated in 3 group dances and won 2 gold medals and a 4th place. Then at the end of the summer I attended the Brighton Tap Festival and won the Intermediate Cutting Competition. I love having the opportunity to review Devon dance shows because I love to watch dance shows and see different styles, I then try and copy their ideas and use them in my dance.
Review of Polina | Director Valerie Muller and Angelin Preljocaj by Esme Rowe
Friday 21 December 2018 at Exeter Phoenix
Polina played by professional ballerina Anastasia Shevtsova is a documentary style film, about a young girls struggle to become a classical ballerina.
Polina grew up in what looked like a cold, dull town in Russia. Her parents seemed poor and worked hard to pay for her ballet lessons. Whatever her father’s job involved did not seem completely legal, with men chasing him for money, and pushing their way into her home and threatening the family.
Her father seemed determined for Polina to get into the Bolshoi ballet school and she had to work very hard. The dance classes were realistic showing how focused and hard dancers work. When she did move away to further her training she seemed to get confused and to fall out of love of the classical dance.
After meeting and falling in love with a French dancer she started exploring a more free spirited contemporary style of dance with him. They travelled to France and started training together, but she struggled with the change from classical ballet, eventually after becoming injured and unable to dance everything started to go wrong. She was alone, homeless and lying to her father that she was still in dance training. She had no money and to survive she became a bar tender. Eventually joined forces with another dancer and managed to start her training again.
Although there were some beautiful dance scenes in this film I found it very hard to understand and follow. There were English subtitles as Russian and French languages were spoken throughout the film.
Top Image: Polina Film Poster