Contact: Kelly Hargraves
Phone: 1-323-662-1930


Now on DVD

A Portrait of Five Exceptional Russian Ballerinas


A film by Bertrand Normand
77 minutes, color, 2008
Russian, English & French w/English subtitles
UPC: 7-20229-91384-3
Catalog #: FRF 913843D
SRP: $24.95 /CAN.: $29.95

 Street Date: July 21

DVD Bonus Features:
• Photo Gallery
• Filmmaker Biography
• Dance Film Gallery

In the grand tradition of the Ballets Russes comes this portrait of five Russian ballerinas from the Mariinsky Theatre (also known as the Kirov).

Behind every great ballerina lies the discipline and rigor that comes from decades of training and practice. Superstars like Nijinsky, Baryshnikov and Pavlova established the reputation of Russian dancers as the best in the world. The five dancers profiled in this revealing film are tough, insightful and exceptionally talented; onstage they reveal no hint of the sweat, pain and hard work of the rehearsal studio. From Swan Lake to Romeo and Juliet, from the backstage studios to performing on stages around the world, Bertrand Normand's beautiful portrait BALLERINA captures the sublime beauty of ballet, in all its resplendent glory.

The Kirov Theatre has produced many of the world’s finest choreographers and dancers including Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikael Baryshnikov, and Natalia Makarova.  Now, The Mariinsky Theatre, under the artistic direction of the legendary Valery Gergiev, brings us to a new generation of rising stars: Alina Somova, Svetlana Zakharova, Diana Vishneva, Ulyana Lopatkina and Evgenia Obraztsova - tough, insightful and exceptionally talented women, each with her own personal hopes, dreams and career-changing challenges.  From leaving school to coming-back from a crippling injury, their journeys reflect unique components of the ballerina’s experience.

• National Theatrical Arthouse Release

Enchanting!” - CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

A jewel of a documentary!” - WASHINGTON POST


Dance aficionados will be sent over the moon!” - CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Highest rating! It’s like having a front row seat at some of the best ballet you’ll ever see. A superb, beautiful film.”- KCBS RADIO, SAN FRANCISCO

A perfect complement to Ballets Russes!” - VARIETY

A surprisingly intimate portrait of what it means to be a ballerina...captures their fragility, and ferocity.”- TIME OUT NEW YORK

Elegant, gorgeous, graceful... Even those skeptical of ballet will likely be entranced. Mesmerizing!”- WASHINGTON CITY PAPER

Parts the curtain on a rarefied realm where the bodies of young girls are stretched, twisted and sent floating on air according to the dictates of a severe and beautiful cult.

Critic’s Pick! A striking lesson in ballet’s rigorous aesthetic alchemy.” - VILLAGE VOICE

Gorgeous...highlights the ethereal quality of these skillful superstars. Reminiscent of the dancer-dreaming paintings of Degas.” - MOVING PICTURES

“Ballerina is a beautiful ticket to another world.” - KDHX RADIO, ST. LOUIS

Press Kits and photos are available at

Other sites of interest include:


Now on DVD

A New Documentary About Two Great American Artists


A film by Linda Atkinson
& Nick Doob (co-director of Al Franken: God Spoke)
UPC: 7-20229-91385-0
Catalog #: FRF913850D
SRP: $24.95 /CAN.: $29.95
 Street Date: July 21

Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder, two living legends in the world of American dance, are the subjects of this intimate and revealing documentary by Linda Atkinson and Nick Doob that tells the story of “an outstanding, five-decade creative collaboration, and also one of the dance world’s great love stories” (Dance Magazine).

Carmen achieved notoriety in the early 1950s as a lead dancer of incomparable beauty and grace with Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theater. Geoffrey, large in life and an elemental force on stage, found fame not only as a dancer but also as an actor (Live and Let Die), soda spokesman (" 7-UP, the Un-Colaaaaa...”) and theater director (The Wiz). He and Carmen met in 1954 and married a year later.

Filmed over several years in the United States, Trinidad and Paris, this exquisite documentary features candid interviews and glorious dance performances, with legends like Alvin Ailey, Herbert Ross, Lester Horton, Joe Layton, Duke Ellington and Josephine Baker, demonstrating the amazing talent and uninterrupted creativity of these icons of dance. There are also contemporary works, including Carmen’s on-going partnership with Gus Solomons Jr. and Dudley Williams and a sampling of Carmen’s and Geoffrey’s current choreographies.

Two time Tony-Award winner, Drama Desk winner, Clio Award winner, and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Geoffrey Holder’s many and varied talents have won him recognition as an actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, composer, librettist, director, costume designer, scenic designer, writer, photographer and painter. His ballet, Dougla is a permanent part of the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s repertoire, as is his work Prodigal Prince for the Ailey Company. Geoffrey is currently working on a feature film version of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Red Slippers, as well as an African-American version of Alice in Wonderland.

After dancing in the ground-breaking Broadway production of Truman Capote’s House of Flowers, where she met her future husband Geoffrey Holder, Carmen de Lavallade became a well-known dance presence in New York. She has worked with every prominent choreographer, from Agnes deMille to Glen Tetley, Joe Layton, and John Butler, and she formed her company, Paradigm, with living legends Gus Solomon’s Jr. and Dudley Williams. Carmen currently works with Debbie Allen on Soul Possessed, which she performed at the Kennedy Center, and she has just completed remounting John Butler’s Carmina Burana and restaging Joe Layton’s Porgy and Bess for the Ailey Company.

"One of the most revelatory dance films I have ever seen!"


"Leaves you wondering why its subjects are not widely recognized as national treasures."

"What you see is more than an outstanding, five-decade creative collaboration; it’s one of the dance world’s great love stories, too." - DANCE MAGAZINE

Enlightening, entertaining and lively. A definite must-see!” - NY AMSTERDAM NEWS

Please visit our DVD Press Room to download box art, photos and press kits

Please send review links to or mail tear sheets to:

First Run Features
The Film Center Building
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213
New York NY 10036

Make it easy for your readers to find First Run Features:
/ 1-800-229-8575