Movie Review - Graceful Girl

It is not everyday day that you get watch a dance documentary, let alone a documentary about Calisthenics!! I recently had the pleasure to be able to watch the film Graceful Girls, which I know many people have eagerly been waiting for since they first heard about the filming in 2012.

If you have never heard about this film, here is a blurb that gives you a little insight to what the film is about.

Guts, stamina, dedication, power. You’ll need all four to be crowned “Most Graceful Girl”! In the beautiful, physically demanding world of the uniquely Australian dance sport of Calisthenics, there is only one prize that matters: Most Graceful Girl.

For 26-year-old primary school teacher Brianna Lee, three-time Graceful Girl runner-up, and having controversially stripped of the State Title, there’s nothing she wants more. But calisthenics is a young woman’s sport and time is running out, so with the help of uncompromising, legendary coach Diane Synnott, the grande Dame of the re-birthed ‘Regent Calisthenics Club’ Brianna struggles to perfect her routine, lay all her ghosts to rest and produce the best performance of her life.

Graceful Girls is the feature film debut from Olivia Peniston-Bird, who like many didn’t know about the sport until it threatened to take over her life. Graceful Girls is a testament to the driving power of obsession, and the way that the spirit of competition can lead us to discover the best of our nature.

I guess I take a more bias view towards the film because Calisthenics has been a major aspect in my own life. Nevertheless the film gives a rounded view into the world we call Calisthenics, showing the good, the bad, and all the hard work in between.

I’m not going to give too much away as I know there are many people around Australia that haven’t been able to see the film yet and are patiently waiting for it to come to their state. However even if you are already or have been involved in Calisthenics, I can guaranty you will learn something new about this artist art form.

It is interesting look at calisthenics through three generations and how this artistic art form has been influenced and evolved over its lifetime. Calisthenics is a true bubble for those that religiously participate, and I just love Brianna’s quote at the end… “The funniest thing is being graceful girl means absolutely nothing in the scheme of things. You say it to somebody out in the street and they go excuse me what is graceful girl? What do you do? Float around stage in a pretty dress?”

If anything it is a honest look into Calisthenics, and shows the view how this world can be so overwhelming in so many ways! “You either love it or hate it” Though I do feel that these two polar opposites of this quote are easily present in one Calisthenics week, let alone one day!! It is a major commitment mixed with a variety of emotions.