Olga Smirnova's talent and drive are taking her to new heights in the ultra-competitive arena of world-class ballet at the Bolshoi in Moscow. This film shows what that extreme sacrifice looks like behind the curtain, through images and the words of Olga and her demanding, but sensitive coach, who doesn't always agree with the method to Olga’s madness.
We examine Olga's solitary mental focus in a cluttered-but-quiet locker room visualization session, then push herself to repeated physical pain to overcome a fault in technique. We also see the contrast from her isolation in an otherwise crowded lunch room to a live, crowd-pleasing performance that same night.
In the end, this calm, focused young woman reveals a soft, sensitive side one would not expect from someone so driven to be the best.
What goes on stage and under the lights is given new context in this illuminating short documentary.
On July 2013 George Harvey and Garage Magazine invited ballet dancers Sergei Polunin and Kristina Shapran to create and unrehearsed improvisation to Satie's Gnossienne No1.
Director: George Harvey
Performance: Sergei Polunin and Kristina Shapran
Director of Photography: Rufai Ajala
Stylist: Celestine Cooney
Make-Up and Grooming: Elias Hove @ Jedroot using MAC Cosmetics
RED Operator: Ramzey Sabbagh
DIT: Claire Fulton
Film Assistants: Kareem Abdul, Adam Slama and Jack Fitzsimmons
Styling Assistant: Trinity Ellis
Track: Gnossienne No. 1
Composer: Erik Satie
Pianist: Lang Lang
Clothing: Sergei Polunin wears trousers from Topman. Kristina Shapran wears skirt by Todd Lynn, top by DKNY Intimates and pants by HAY
With special thanks to: Spring Studios, production and post