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First Position

HD   NR Closed Captioning

Bess Kargman

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About the Movie

Every year, thousands of aspiring dancers enter one of the world's most prestigious ballet competitions, the Youth America Grand Prix, where lifelong dreams are at stake. In the final round, with hundreds competing for only 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.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 71
  • Fresh: 66
  • Rotten: 5
  • Average Rating: 7.3/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Yes, it is possible to create a gripping documentary about the ballet world without resorting to "Black Swan" melodramatics. – Allan Ulrich, San Francisco Chronicle, May 10, 2012

Fresh: Because its subjects are so driven and so talented, "First Position," which is about ballet, is more gripping than the norm. – Ty Burr, Boston Globe, May 10, 2012

Fresh: Beneath the jetes and bleeding feet, First Position is about toughness of mind as much as visions of beauty. In one case it's about a transformation so profound as to be unfathomable. – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2012

Fresh: It's an intense journey, and Kargman captures it all, down to the dancers' bloodied and bruised feet. – Amy Hitt, Washington Post, May 11, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


This documentary clearly shows the hard work and dedication young kids from around the world will put in to achieve their dreams, you can tell that every one of the dancers are very talented and have bright futures ahead of them, and how hard it will be physically and mentally to reach their goals. This movie is well balanced and wonderful, a must watch for those who strive for their goals, dedication and hard work will get you there!

A great film!

I really enjoyed watching this film. The dancers profiled were all from very different backgrounds but they had a laser focus and commitment to dance in common. It's impressive to see some of the younger dancers and how hard they worked to achieve their dreams. I came away incredibly inspired and impressed by every one of them. Highly reccomended for all ages!


I was captivated by the will to succeed by each participant of the competition. The idiosyncratic style of each dancer in this documentary has opened my eyes to the many personalities who are involved in ballet dancing. I do see myself purchasing a copy of this HD movie for future safe-keeping.

First Position
View in iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2012

Customer Ratings