Valérie Müller, Angelin Preljocaj
Like the spare, elegant graphic novel by Bastien Vivès on which it is based, Polina, has an arresting immediacy about it from the start. Polina is a child from a working class family who has a chance to join the Bolshoi Ballet where she is rigorously trained from an early age by a perfectionist instructor. After being classically trained, she discovers contemporary dance, a revelation that throws everything into question on a profound level. Diverting from her plan, she leaves all her exacting preparation behind and moves to France to work with a famous choreographer. But once there she is quickly forced to grapple with the realization that determination and hard work don't always lead to success.