Joan and Michaela give the piece its most touching moments as one struggles being so far away from his family, the other recounts her time after her parents death. Whilst in an orphanage, she came across a magazine with a ballet dancer on the glossy cover and resolved to become one if anyone ever adopted her. With moments like these, and the obviously gruelling schedule these kids must take on, it's a shame that First Position never really feels like their is any depth to it. Regardless of how things turn out for the kids when (and if) they manage to compete at the Youth American Grand Prix, there seems little inclination on Kargman's part to offer insight.
These children are incredibly talented, unbelievably determined and a joy to spend time with, but that alone does not constitute a compelling documentary. The decision to conclude First Position with the competition, and thus decline to show the aftermath (either positive or negative) seems to sum up the scant examination. Where audiences crave deeper understanding, or something unique, they're left with a puff piece that's diverting, but never much more.
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