52 percent

January 3, 2009

I’m more hooked up to contemporary dance and butoh than to ballet. But I do admire the technique… ballet dancers very often after they finish with their careers switch to teaching and doing classes, they stop their performative careers.

A great example how can a former ballet dancer become amazing and intriguing contemporary dancer is certainly Sylvie Guilleme, the hacker of ballet and dance, as I like to call her here…

Sylvie Guillem – Two (2005)


Ballet dancers undergo through heavy and hard disciplined classes, the same as professional athletes. There is no difference. The only difference is that athletes are paid much better, and ballet dancers certainly don’t get at the end financial satisfaction for all efforts and pain, but also for the pleasure they gave to the audience.

Oh, yeah, and on every damn championship or Olympics somebody is talking about previous records and achievements, whilst ballet dancers become a part of history ‘written only for a few’.

b1.jpg52 Percent by Rafal Skalski (c)

Documentary film ‘52 Percent‘ (2007) shot by young Polish film maker Rafal Skalski deals with problems of one young girl who wishes above all to become an professional ballerina.

Rafal Skalski has got tones of awards at major European documentary film festivals in 2008. He’s a graduate student at the Film Directing Department at the National Film Television and Theatre School in Lodz. His films include Little Wisdoms, and the new So That There’s Nothing.

People from theatre field usually say that in Russian ballet rules are written only for strongest too (what ever it means!), makes you think a little bit after…

b2.jpg52 Percent by Rafal Skalski (c)

Synopsis of the film is based on the following story: Eleven-year old Alla wants to become a ballet dancer. It’s the second time she attempts to be admitted to the famous Russian Waganowa Ballet Academy in Saint Petersburg. To succeed she will have to lengthen her legs: 52% is the ideal ratio between legs and height.

Young girl whose legs are 0.4 percent too short to fit the ideal proportion of leg length to height which is one of the most important admission criteria set by the State Ballet Academy. The little one has two months to reach this goal, practicing every day stretching exercises with her mother. Painful exercises…

b3.jpg52 Percent by Rafal Skalski (c)

The length of the film is 20 minutes guiding you enough to get a truly empathy from the viewers, with the help of ‘devoted to life mission’ Alla and camera man J. Giza.

If you happen to visit some documentary film festival in your neighborhood check it out for ’52 Percent’ coz it’s worth to see it… (no, that’s not a movie with expected end…).

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