Bess Kargman’s documentary “First Position” follows six young dancers as they prepare for the Youth America Grand Prix, a high-powered competition attended by scouts from the top dance companies.
I’ve become weary of documentaries about winning prizes, but this one is special because the kids are. They are ardent and amazingly accomplished, but they are also ... kids. When they dance, it’s as if they had suddenly become possessed by a larger force outside themselves. For some of the dancers, such as 14-year-old Michaela DePrince, who was adopted by a Jewish family in Philadelphia after her own was massacred in Sierra Leone, their artistry is more than a gift – it’s a necessity. Grade: A- (Unrated.)