Dancing on Glass 2022 hollywood movies review

Dancing on Glass (Las niñas de cristal) finds itself somewhere along the spectrum of Black Swan and Whiplash. Maybe not as darkly intense as those aforementioned titles, but its story speaks to a larger truth surrounding the performing arts, or the arts, in general, where, the highest level can be a desolate and torturous place.

The quest for perfection is a daunting one, requiring the artist or performer to become one with the form. It may appear spectacular on the outside, to a rapturous audience, but what the individual endures behind the scenes is rarely understood. Dancing on Glass has ballet and those who perform it at the top-most level as its central subject. The Spanish dance production company at the head of the film counts itself as one of the best around, being headed by a veteran, old-school taskmaster in Norma (Mona Martínez). For someone like her, the artistic act is everything. She is willing to go to any lengths to extract a worthy performance onstage from her chosen ballerina. Problematic? Sure! Psychologically damaging? Sure! Coaches, mentors, and guides cut out of the same fabric maintain that only such methods make one the best. The operative question here is, at what cost?

Maria, the principal ballerina for the dance production of Giselle, takes her own life during an untimely visit to the States. Her death is shrouded in mystery back home in Spain. Irene (María Pedraza) makes for an unexpected replacement for the leading role, leaving a majority of the troupe stunned. Ruth, who everyone assumes would have taken over, is given the cold shoulder. The requirements of the performance begin taking a physical and mental toll on Irene, even as she looks to fellow reluctant dancer, Aurora (Paula Losada), for comfort.

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