Acclaimed Dance Movie "Polina" Finally Hits Theaters

August 27, 2017

The French dance film that made waves at last year’s Venice Film Festival is now stateside: Polina opened in theaters on August 25th. The story follows a young Russian ballerina-in-the-making, played by dancer Anastasia Shevtsova, who’s performed with the Mariinsky Ballet.

A still from Polina (Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Polina is about to join the Bolshoi Ballet when she discovers the rule-breaking genre of contemporary dance—and radically alters her path. She begins working with a choreographer in France (played by Academy Award winner Juliette Binoche, who’s danced with Akram Khan), who encourages Polina to become a choreographer in her own right. “The fact that the choreographer she meets is a woman is no accident,” says Angelin Preljocaj, the film’s choreographer. “We have a lot of ballerinas, but there are very few women choreographers. It was important to us that Polina’s path be the path of a person who is the master of her own life—that she takes her place in the world of art.” For more info head to

A version of this story appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of
Dance Spirit.