Joy Womack: The White Swan

Directed by Dina Burlis, Sergey Gavrilov
Film Movement
91 Minutes
Russia, United Kingdom, USA
Russian, English
Biography, Documentary
Not Rated
play trailer
$12.48 Members
$24.95 $12.48 Non-Members
DVD Out of Stock
Available 1/11/22
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The film follows several years in the life of Joy Womack, the first American to graduate from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy’s main training program, and the first American woman to sign a contract with the Bolshoi Ballet.

Joy grew up in a typical American family. She always wanted to be a ballet dancer and moved to Russia when she was 15 to follow her dream. Without a word of Russian, not completely fit for the physical requirements of Russian ballet dancers, Joy shows her strength and dedication to ballet and accomplishing her dreams. We follow Joy’s personal and professional life: from her daily challenges, injuries, performances to becoming a ballet dancer with Bolshoi Theatre group and then prima ballerina of Kremlin Ballet, where she has performance of her lifetime - Swan Lake, before closing this chapter of her life and leaving Russia to pursue new opportunities.

DVD Features

Additional Interviews
Behind-the-Scenes featurette

Sound: 2.0 Stereo

Discs: 1

  • Highest Rating
    "Womack herself is very much a documentary filmmaker’s dream: outspoken and always willing to take centre stage, she is a force of nature to be reckoned with.... Lively and action-packed throughout its running time, this portrait of a woman bulldozing herself through life, taking no prisoners is impressive. "
    Meredith Taylor, Filmuforia
  • Highest Rating
    "A personal, emotive, yet pointedly informative insight into the incredibly demanding world of professional ballet; JoyWomack: The White Swan charts the ballerina's captivating Russian odyssey, from the challenging lows to glorious highs, with stark, beautiful intimacy."
    Junsui Films
  • Highest Rating
    "Joy Womack: The White Swan is a film that is both confronting and challenging but also deeply moving...."
    Michelle Potter, Michelle Potter...on dancing
  • Highest Rating
    "In many ways, it is a courageous film, one that presents a very honest, warts and all view of its subject. It shows darkness as well as light, a black swan as well as a white swan, an Odile as well as an Odette. Perhaps that’s what makes it so compelling."
    David Mead, Seeing Dance
  • Highest Rating
    "An interesting glimpse into the life of a person trying to achieve the impossible. Joy Womack: The White Swan pulls you in with a fascinating and determined subject. Filled with the complexities of what it takes to make it as a ballerina in the Bolshoi and as a ballerina in general, we are given a fascinating documentary at a less seen life."
    Upcoming on Screen
  • Highest Rating
    "Burlis and Gavrilov have created a fascinating portrait of a fascinating – and at times frustrating – woman."
    Isabelle Ryan, UK Film Review
  • Highest Rating
    "Visually stunning and dramatically engrossing, this film doesn’t just tell Ms. Womack’s story. It brings the viewer along for an unforgettable ride from the optimistic beginnings through corruption and despair to the eventual triumph of one ballerina’s unique and fascinating story. "
    Bill Waldinger, Classical Ballet and All That Jazz


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