18 November 2016.
POLINA – DANSER SA VIE *** (vo Russian, French)
A young girl takes up ballet at the prestigious Bolshoi in Moscow, reluctantly at first, then with growing ardor thanks to a charismatic teacher. The mood is very Russian – grueling work, little gratification, dedicated parents. Polina perseveres, gets a chance to go to France, where her teacher is played by the multi-talented Juliette Binoche. Our Russian learns to free her body, then her mind, and begins to envision more creation in dance.
It’s a marvel how the French choreographer and director, Anjelin Preljocaj, has created a trajectory of an evolving dancer as she discovers herself through multiple setbacks, an amorous encounter, some difficult moves through Europe, sometimes away from her passion and alienated from her family. The Russian dancer Anastasia Shevtsova portrays Polina as she blooms into a woman who needs to create and choreograph her own movements, culminating in a glorious final ballet with a partner that seems quite perfect for her. Lovely.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.