Three younger New York ballet dancers get the highlight in David Petersen’s new documentary, “Carry.” Filmed over 10 years, it focuses on the dancer-choreographer Steven Melendez. He grew up within the Bronx and discovered ballet whereas transferring out and in of the town’s shelter system. He got here again to show share what he had discovered by conducting a workshop for underserved younger individuals.
The spectacular time span permits the movie to observe Victor Abreu, Yolanssie Cardona and Sharia Blockwood as they develop into promising younger ballet stars whereas going through the challenges of poverty and housing insecurity. Melendez, the creative director of New York Theater Ballet, sees himself within the struggles of his college students. He’s visibly retraumatized when he first returns to the shelter the place he grew up, and the place he teaches the workshop. However over time, we see this private historical past assist Melendez join along with his college students as they undergo trials he is aware of properly.
Petersen’s bare-bones, on-the-ground manufacturing works properly for a narrative like this, highlighting how important these small workshops in homeless shelters and group facilities will be. There’s a motif of buzzing into locked buildings — a well-recognized noise to any New Yorker — and close-up photographs of barbed-wire fences exterior the shelter the place the youngsters observe. These environment stand in apparent distinction to the dance courses inside, the place Melendez encourages college students to mildew the rarefied artwork of ballet into one thing of their very own making.
Rated PG-13 for language. Operating time: 1 hour 27 minutes. In theaters.