Ballerina | 2009
A portrait of five Russian ballerinas from the Mariinski Theatre, formerly known as the Kirov. Behind any great ballerina lies the discipline and rigour that comes from decades of training and practice; and Russia's pre-eminent dancers--superstars such as Nijinsky, Baryshnikov and Pavlova--established the reputation of Russian dancers as the best in the world. The profiled dancers are uniquely individual--tough, insightful and exceptionally talented; onstage they reveal no hint of the sweat, pain and hard work of the rehearsal studio. The classic ballerina exercises an art that is becoming rare, a profession as demanding that it is not well known. She fascinates because her fate seems so fragile. But there is a country where she still shines as resplendently as ever, Russia. Land of absolutes, the cult of beauty, wideness and nostalgia, also the land of a forgotten femininity: Russia is the land of the ballerina par excellence.