For 15-year-old ballet students Regina Bertuzzi and Liam Saito, First Position is more than an acclaimed ballet documentary about one of the world’s largest dance competitions, it’s part of their personal success story. The two Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Level 5 students were offered the opportunity of a lifetime by RWB School Director Arlene Minkhorst last year at the prestigious Youth American Grand Prix in New York. Minkhorst, who has been a member of the competition’s jury for more than a decade, recognized these two talented youngsters as an ideal fit for the RWB School and offered them both scholarships on the spot.
“Youth American Grand Prix attracts the world’s highest caliber ballet dancers, and only the best of those make it to the finals in New York,” says Minkhorst. “The competition provides an unrivalled opportunity to scout new talent.”
Minkhorst will be leading the introductory Q&A to the award-winning documentary First Position when it’s shown at Cinamatheque on April 14th at 2pm. Bess Bergman’s box office hit First Position follows six extraordinary dancers as they prepare for the chance to enter the world of professional ballet. The story portrays the struggle that young dancers face, from bloodied feet and near exhaustion to debilitating injuries, all while navigating the drama of adolescence.
First Position had its World Premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and was named the audience choice’s first runner-up for Best Documentary. It also won the Jury Prize at the San Francisco Doc Fest, the audience award for Best Documentary at the Dallas International Film Festival, the audience award for Best Documentary at the Portland International Film Festival, and the audience award for Best Documentary at DOC NYC.
Youth American Grand Prix
Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) is the
world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition that awards over
$250,000 annually in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide. The
competition is held annually around the world and in New York City, and is open
to dance students of all nationalities 9-19 years old. www.yapg.org
Cinematheque Presents FIRST POSITION with introduction by RWB School Director Arlene Minkhorst and YAGP competitors Regina Bertuzzi and Liam Saito.
14, at 2pm; April 19 & 20 @ 9pm & 21 @ 2pm
Ticket prices: $9 at the door (6$ for RWB PD Students and RWB Subscribers - names will be checked at the door)
Address: 100 Arthur Street in the Exchange
Watch the First Position trailer here!