First Position

Dance On Film: First Position

Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
  • Library Hall

A film by Bess Kargman.

The Dance on Film series is presented by Bud Werner Memorial Library, Perry-Mansfield and Steamboat Dance Theatre. The free screening includes an introduction by dance history professor and Perry-Mansfield Executive Director Joan Lazarus.

“Irresistible… a slam dunk.” - The New York Times
Poignant. Hilarious. Heartbreaking.” - Los Angeles Times

"Marvelous. Breathtaking...a real-life Billy Elliiot. So profound as to be unfathomable.” - The Wall Street Journal
“Irresistible. A valentine to the art. Director Kargman triumphs by picking characters who largely defy expectations.” - Time Magazine

About First Position
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, nothing short of perfection is acceptable. Bess Kargman’s award-winning, box office hit documentary First Position follows six extraordinary dancers as they prepare for the 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 ballet stars of tomorrow.

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. Director Bess Kargman was also given the Best New Director award at the Portland International Film Festival in 2012.

Run time: 90 min.

Joan Lazarus

About the film's commentator
Joan Lazarus served as Executive Director of Oakland Ballet, General Manger of Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Center, and Executive Director of WestWave Dance, an annual festival of new choreography presented in San Francisco. Joan has performed with or in the works of Alonzo King, Cliff Keuter, Ellen Bromberg, Victoria Morgan, Krissy Keefer, Frank Shawl, Bill DeYoung, Toni Pimble, Richard Colton and Alan Ptashek. She taught at the University of Oregon, Mills College, San Francisco Ballet, Dance Circle of Boston, The Princeton Ballet, RoCo Dance & Fitness, and Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, and co-authored the Dance Curriculum Guide adopted by the San Francisco Unified School District. She received Bay Area National Dance Week’s Contribution to the Field of Dance Award in 2006, and in 2012 she received an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Sustained Achievement. Lazarus was named 2011 Dance MVP by the San Francisco Chronicle. Joan joined the staff at Perry-Mansfield in June 2012.

About Dance On Film

This 2013 Dance On Film series is presented by Bud Werner Memorial Library, Perry-Mansfield and Steamboat Dance Theatre. Perry-Mansfield celebrates its 100th anniversary as the oldest continuously operating arts camp in the United States this year. Steamboat Dance Theatre is a community dance organization presenting its 41st annual concert March 14-16, 2013, in addition to year-round dance scholarships and education programs in Yampa Valley schools and throughout the community. This collaborative and educational dance film series features free screenings of the hottest new dance documentaries along with the finest classic dance films from a variety of genres filmed throughout the ages.