The Christian Science Monitor

In ‘Polina,’ a ballerina pursues contemporary

Movies about dancers are often unsatisfying both as drama and as studies of bodies in motion. Partly this is because not many directors know how to photograph dance but also because not many trained dancers are good actors, and vice versa. Also, the plotlines that coalesce around the dancers’ lives are often riddled with clichés.

“Polina,” based on a graphic novel by Bastien Vivès anddirected by French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj and screenwriter Valérie Müller, is about a gifted young Russian ballerina who leaves behind her classical training to pursue contemporary dance, with mixed results. The movie, too, is a mixed bag.

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