Youth America Grand Prix Doc- First Position Premieres at Toronto Film Fest

The world's largest international ballet education initiative - YOUTH AMERICA GRAND PRIX - begins its 2012 season with the premiere of its new documentary, FIRST POSITION at the Toronto Film Festival.

FIRST POSITION is a feature length documentary that follows five extremely dedicated young dancers from North and South America, Asia and Europe as they prepare for the largest youth ballet competition in the world, the Youth America Grand Prix. This international ballet competition could transform their futures overnight. In the face of injury, disapointment, and grueling rehearsals, these dancers share a drive to succeed that trumps money, politics, culture, and even war. FIRST POSITION takes audiences on a yearlong journey. At a time when art, music, and dance for children are severely under-funded, the film reveals the pain and the extraordinary beauty of the art form that so many children across the globe are determined to dedicate their lives to...despite the odds. The film is produced by Bess Kargman of First Position Films

FIRST POSITION'S world premiere will be at the 36th Annual Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday, Sept 11, 2011. Additional screenings will be announced at a later date on the YAGP website (

YOUTH AMERICA GRAND PRIX (YAGP) is the world's largest student ballet scholarship competition, founded in 1999 by two former Bolshoi Ballet dancers, Larissa and Gennadi Saveliev. Conducted annually throughout the U.S. and abroad (Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and Italy), YAGP is the "internet of the dance world," a global network of opportunity connecting dancers, teachers, schools and companies all over the globe. Each year, YAGP conducts regional Semi-Finals throughout the United States and worldwide (Brazil, Paraguay, Mexico, Italy, France, and Japan). Each season culminates in the New York City Finals, where over 950 of the world's most promising dancers representing 30 countries on five continents compete for scholarships and professional job contracts offered at YAGP.

Since its inception, over 30,000 young dancers have participated in YAGP worldwide competitions and workshops. Over $2 million dollars have been awarded in scholarships to the world's leading dance schools and over 250 YAGP Alumni are now dancing with 50 companies around the globe, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, and many others. For more information, visit WWW.YAGP.ORG.

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