Sunday, March 26, 2017

BROKEN (Directed by Lynne Spencer) *****

Simone Orlando, a magnificent principal dancer with ballet BC is about to discover

what it's like to give up everything she does and loves because of a dance injury during rehearsal. In denial about her pain and worsening state, she continues to dance, and her final bow is taken in her role as Blanche in “Streetcar Named Desire”. The film travels with her as she undergoes physic, two surgeries and unendurable mental stress as she comes to terms with the fact that her point shoes will forever be relegated to the closet. This film presents a professor from Oxford University who studies trauma in performers and what they experiences as the fall from grace. What we discover in this film is how cold and unsupportive Simone’s ballet troupe members are during her ordeal. No one visits her at the operation, and Ballet BC tries to hide the fact that their lead dancer has been injured. She never receives a formal adieu from the company. She eventually ends up as CEO and Artistic Director of Ballet Kelowna. Her hip replacement rids her of pain, but her left leg is longer than the other. She limps but still continues to choreograph. Finally she is able to resume a normal life of daily activities, but performance dancing is done. Dancers unfortunately are so wrapped up in masking pain and being the best that their self-absorption can be their very down-fall. Support is a two-way street.  She is sad and angry that no one seems to be in sync with her emotions, but then again, she never shared her pain with anyone. (Screened at FIFA)

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