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The Prodigy2013

  • 3.8
Olga Smirnova's talent and drive are taking her to new heights in the ultra-competitive arena of world-class ballet at the Bolshoi in Moscow. This film shows what that extreme sacrifice looks like behind the curtain, through images and the words of Olga and her demanding, but sensitive coach, who doesn't always agree with the method to Olga's madness. We examine Olga's solitary mental focus in a cluttered-but-quiet locker room visualization session, then push herself to repeated physical pain to overcome a fault in technique. We also see the contrast from her isolation in an otherwise crowded lunch room to a live, crowd-pleasing performance that same night. In the end, this calm, focused young woman reveals a soft, sensitive side one would not expect from someone so driven to be the best. What goes on stage and under the lights is given new context in this illuminating short documentary.

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Member Reviews (6)

top reviewer

Fine appetizer but little sustenance here. She is beautiful and wonderful to watch, and the direction represents her in brief, beautiful variation, while the voice-over however earnest, is blankly trite right down to "ordinary mortals"; that is, those who don't dance.

very good and what a talented young woman she is !!!!

this is a entertaining and well made short documentary that really packs a punch. It's only 8 minutes but its still great.


Mme. Smirnova dances so beautifully that there is nothing to do but watch spellbound. If it were simply her dancing it would be five stars, but the camera work and direction left something to be desired.

A quick and compelling look at the extraordinary drive which is essential to make it to the top.

Very short documentary, not a lot of pithiness to it. Simply showed various ballet movements. Does nothing to explain what created the singular mindset of this person, the pressure she is under and what she wants.