Lift (2019)


Director and co-producer: David Petersen

Producer: Mary Recine

Cinematography: Alan Jacobson, Gary Griffin, David Petersen

Currently in production with support from Catapult Film Film and JustFilms of the Ford Foundation

LIFT: a documentary-in-progress. As a fine art, American ballet rarely finds its dancers or audience among those marginalized by poverty or homelessness, but for over 25 years The New York Theater Ballet has held auditions in homeless shelters and low income communities to teach dancers the discipline and responsibility to become fine artists, either for themselves, for the ballet company, or to pursue international careers well beyond what they could have imagined. This astonishing journey – from the marginalized community of homelessness to the disciplined rigor of a professional ballet dancer – serves as the powerful narrative engine for the documentary. Over the course of 6 years, this verité-style film follows how these dancers meet the challenges of living in a homeless shelter or low-income community, and apply the discipline, passion, and beauty of ballet to transform their lives.