This I wrote on Sunday, but since my internet was acting funny I couldn’t post it. Here it is now…
It is Sunday night. And I have come home after a tiring dance rehearsal, followed by dinner at McD’s. Not really the most healthy thing. But hey, I ran for an hour and danced for nearly 3!! I deserved that break…
Since I didn’t really have to cook anymore, I just watched the documentary ” First position”. The ‘movie’ revolves around 6 young dancers as they practice and prepare to become a professional ballet dancer. It follows them from the time they start practicing in their own city/ town for the Youth America Grand Prix. It talks about how they overcome physical injuries, expectations etc.
I like dance. I dance the Indian classical dance form of Odissi better than I dance Jazz Funk. But I can never go professional with it. Dance, I feel, is to give me joy and happiness. In a way to let me forget whatever is happening otherwise. If I turn it into a career choice I WILL want to be the best around, I WILL worry about the money being paid, I WILL become competitive, egoistic and jealous of other dancers.
While watching the movie I felt amazed by how devoted these kids are towards dance. Some of them are as young as 11 and they know exactly what they want. I cannot imagine being so focused on one single thing. They show maturity beyond their years – a 12-year-old says I think I have had the right amount of childhood and the right amount of ballet.
The movie also shows how parent’s aspirations are projected towards their children. When a woman’s son decides to quit ballet because he has never loved it passionately, she breaks down. She who has moved house – and her husband’s office – to be closer to the ballet school for her kids. Another father has taken a voluntary duty in Kuwait just so that his family can continue to live in the Navy base where his son learns ballet. An African orphan goes on to be adopted by loving parents. Parents who do not believe that a girl with a darker skin tone cannot be a ballet dancer. A mother who lets her 17-year-old son go and dance so that he can fulfill his dream, earn a name, buy a house – a car maybe – because Colombia would never be able to give him that.
First Position is more than just the story of a ballet competition. It is the story of several dancers and their families. And the lives which ballet has touched or changed.