Monday, April 30, 2012

Movie Idea: Russian Ballet

With the decent success of Black Swan, Save the Last Dance and even Centerstage, Hollywood will alwasy trot out a dance movie for the arts community and little girls everywhere. One thing that can help a movie's draw is if there is an international element. Americans love to project themselves into the main character going off to the foreign land, and the foreign land boosts foreign box office draw as the foreigners go "Look, it's set in our country". I propose a dance movie for all ballerinas... failed, functioning or forgotten.

Introductory scene is set in mid '80s USA with a young couple performing a pas de deux. From first shot we see that it is the Russian Ballet Co performing a goodwill "Glasnost" tour for increased openness between the USA and USSR. They move well together and at the end rush off stage. The producer is yelling for them shortly thereafter but does not find them. The couple has escaped the theater, and seeks asylum in the USA. Hurray, they are free. End scene.

Flash forward to young girl doing the ballet thing in a studio with middle aged woman instructing her. She's harsh and critical, but the girl gets it after a few tries. Big hug after the bit, and we see it is the dancer from the opening scene. Papa comes to pick them up, and we get the loving ride home with family chatter. Daughter goes home to sleep before performance the next day. We see her dance themed room. She rises, goes thru dancer prep routine, performs at some recital and makes parents proud. They talk to her about her applying to the Kirov. They support her as much as it pains them to see her go. They warn her of the pressure she will face, as the program is the best, and the added scrutiny of being their daughter. The father will kiss her goodnight, then the mother will stay behidn for a one on one. Mom will explain just how cruel and tough the teachers will be. She'll explain how she did her best to instill their ways in her, which was rough but was to make her the best she could be.

We need the whirlwind montage sequence of young girl setting up life in Russia. Her apartment will be with the grandmother she never met. The Russian grandma ask her if she speaks Russian, she just says "yes", but thent he grandma says 'your russian is bad'. An awkward little friendship can develop. She's going to be shunned, ripped, and even teased about being 'bigger' than them. Those catty Russian bitches. Her grandma will make her Russian meals to 'keep up' with those bitches. The teachers are going to be tough, demanding and cold. A little extra glee will be shown when they criticize the American. They will break her. She will cry alone and not answer the door when her grandma inquires about the crying. Grandma knows. Grandma calls home. Mom calls. Mom and Dad ask if she wants to come home. Nope, she wants to stay, but is worried she will be cut. Mom and Dad say she's done her best. Grandma will shout int he background, "Send her to Yulia". Mom will tell her that if she wants extra pointers, and truly wants to be her best, to let her grandma bring her to her old teacher, Yulia.

Next evening. Grandma and Girl ride train, then bus to an old house. There an old as the hills lady lets them in. She sits and talks Russian with the grandma. She sizes the girl up. Can we start now? No. When do they start the girl will ask? Tells her to come back the next weekend. Rest up. She's going to need it. The teachers at the ballet company will berate her another two days, the girls will mock her, and then saturday hits. Grandma wakes her up and sends her off. The old lady tears her to shreds about everything from how she stands when off the floor, to her facial expressions while NOT dancing, to her demeanor. She says you gotta be ballerina every moment of your life if you think you will make the Kirov. The girl will stand correctly, and then the lesson will start. Start at the basics. She's goign to have to break down what her mother tried to instill in her, and truly form her properly.

We'll need a montage. This old lady is going to hit her with a stick. She's going to yell at her. She's also going to encourage her, and be positive when the girl starts getting it. We'll cross cut to her in the Kirov class doing better, and suddenly beign selected for things. A couple of Russian girls will warm up to her, clinger on types that follow others. The men will even notice her a bit more now. We'll need a pause where the old Russian lady will say "America is too nice. Makes you soft. I will toughen you up", and then a sequence of ballet strength drills. We'll have shots of her doing partner work with some handsome Russki guy. Sequence ends.

She's wrapping up training, preparing for final cut week. She chats with old Yulia about the Kirov. Yulia tells her story. Young girl when it was still called Mariinsky. Hated how it was changed to Kirov because of dead Commie who liked to sleep with ballerinas. Spoiled the name, and now that is how it is called. The Commies tried to destroy every bit of old Russia, but they knew they could not destroy the ballet. They sued it, but it outlived them. Yulia doesnt wish her luck, she knows she'll make the cut. She tells her to think, breathe and exude confidence when she is performing.

Final auditions and of course she rocks it. They do final cut and she will be accepted. Cute Russian guy will give the a 'check' and walk off. One of the bitches won't make it, and then we'll do a scene where she 'imagines' being a normal show off American rubbing it in her face to be followed by her true reaction: stone faced "Not everyone can be admitted, perhaps you can become a waitress". She rushes to her grandma's place to call home; grandma and yulia are there. Everyone happy, end movie.

No comments: