Dancing Across Borders chronicles the intimate and triumphant story of Sokvannara Sar, who was discovered by Anne Bass on a trip to Angkor Wat, Cambodia, in 2000 and brought to the ballet stage in America. A longtime patron of dance in the U.S., Bass arranged for Sy to visit New York and audition for the prestigious School of the American Ballet (SAB). What unfolds is a tentative negotiation between Sy and the world of American ballet and culture—from the serene countryside of Southeast Asia to the halls of SAB, to the stage of the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. The film follows Sy’s unusual development as a dancer and offers a remarkable behind—the—scenes look into the world of American ballet. At its heart, Dancing Across Borders is an extraordinary story of growth, adaptation, and belonging as well as of the development of talent and the mastery of an art form.
- Anne Bass
- Sokvannara Sar
We get white folks ruminating lyrically on the peasant Asian's role as a kind of grand jete bridge between East and West, and long performance sequences that are dazzling to behold but quite troubling to contemplate.Michelle Orange, Village Voice, 06.24.2010
There are times when the subject of a documentary transcends merely adequate filmmaking, and that is very much the case with Dancing Across Borders...David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle, 06.24.2010
Offered only hints of life away from the barre or of Sy's relationship with his coolly poised benefactress, viewers will see either a very fortunate young man or a beautiful protege, dancing as fast as he can to please everyone but himself.Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, 06.24.2010
Sometimes with documentaries, the best intentions have a way of making decent people look bad. Dancing Across Borders is a dismaying case in point.Wesley Morris, Boston Globe, 06.24.2010