A film by Vikram Dasgupta
Produced by Vikram Dasgupta
When a young Siphe November leaves his small township in South Africa to follow his dreams at Canada’s National Ballet School, he begins a remarkable journey that reveals deeply personal pulses of family, prejudice, expectation, loss, and resilience that beat beneath the surface of a beautiful and demanding art form.
Growing up in Zolani – a segregated township outside Cape Town, South Africa – Siphe is surrounded by his family’s love for dance, but his extraordinary potential becomes clear when he and his brothers start dancing with their first teacher, Fiona Sutton. From a privileged community across the mountains, Fiona displays both passion and frustration as she pushes the boys to commit to their talent. When Fiona invites a family of Canadian travellers to watch the children perform, Siphe’s talent moves them to sponsor his education at a good school so he can dedicate more time to dancing.
Siphe’s talent takes him farther from home when he is accepted into Canada’s National Ballet School’s professional ballet training program, one of the world’s most elite dance programs located in Toronto, more than 8,000 miles from Cape Town. Over the next seven years, he pushes the limits of his talent, tackles an intensive training regimen, and soars on stages around the world while growing up away from his family, all with a unique body that breaks the traditional ballet aesthetic. At the same time, he must navigate evolving relationships with the important people in his life: his mother, with whom he feels a profound duty to help live a better life; with Fiona, who is thrilled for Siphe but wishes he would become a role model and give back to his community; with his Canadian family, who strives to help him feel at home in two countries; and with his brother Mthuthu, a professional choreographer and dancer in Europe.
As Siphe graduates and begins his career as a professional ballet dancer, his reflections continue – on his role as a black ballet dancer on the world stage, how he and his brother hope to give back to his mother and the township and deal with the loss of the one who helped him discover his true potential.
CANADA | 2019 | DOCUMENTARY | 84 MINUTES | HD
ENGLISH AND XHOSA WITH ENGLISH AND FRENCH SUBTITLES