For anyone loving dance, ballet in particular, this film is a pleasurable experience and the story of rivalries within the ballet world provide a storybook backdrop to a film full of wonderful examples of great ballet dancing.
Anne Bancroft and Shirley Maclaine, stalwarts of the film acting world, add vigour and depth to what is, essentially, a family film for matinee viewing. Bancroft plays the fading, but still dedicated, ballerina who has given up everything, especially family and children, for The Dance. Maclaine is her opposite who did give up her dancing for her family. But her daughter, played with exquisite loveliness by Lesley Browne of the American Ballet Theatre, is to prove that her sacrifice was not in vain.
Mikhail Baryshnikov in his film debut enhances the film to heights of wonder with his magnificent dancing and he proves he can act a little in his delightful scenes with the ingenue but ambitious young fledgling dancer.
The best parts of the film are, obviously, the fabulous dancing, the best of which is the pas de deux from Don Quixote with Baryshnikov's leaps simply stunning.
Recommended for both Maclaine and Bancroft in fine style and for Baryshnikov's and Browne's beautiful dancing.