Genre: Dance drama
Duration: 117 min
Yeh Ballet is a film based on a true story of two dancers Nishu and Asif who were discovered by an Israeli ballet teacher and are selected to attend a prestigious ballet school in America.
Back in 2017, a documentary was made based on Manish Chauhan and Amiruddin Shah and this is the fictional story of the same. Manish Chauhan plays a fictional version of himself, in the portrayal of Nishu, and Asif is played by Achintya Bose. Both hail from different areas of Mumbai. Asif is a break dancer who likes to dance with his friends whereas Nishu is seen participating in a dance competition.
Nishu and Asif meet when Asif’s brother delivers pizzas to a dance academy and manages to secure him a place. Nishu is seen by a manager at the dance school and is offered a fee discount due to his talent. In the midst of all this is an Israeli ballet teacher, who has moved back to India to teach dance and discovers the boys’ talent. Although we know dance is huge in India, ballet itself is a pretty untapped dance genre and it is not actually made clear what makes these two boys fall in love with ballet which requires discipline and elegant movements, hence many men do not take up ballet. Both characters have their girlfriends meaning that they are not gay and they are just dancers who love ballet.
Julian Sands who plays the dance teacher Saul, isn’t used to his full advantage. Sands is an amazing actor but through the film he seems to come across lost and as a character playing a dance teacher we don’t actually see the teacher dance, which is a shame.
Yeh Ballet is a brilliant film depicting the essence of two young boys doing something that is completely out of the norm. The shots showing intricate dance moves leave tears in your eyes as these two young men make waves in the dance world. Manish, who is trained in ballet, stuns you with his sophisticated and complex moves and Achintya went out of his way to learn ballet for the film and also keeps you intrigued as he dances his way through the film. It is a wonderful feeling watching these two boys from humble beginnings becoming world class dancers and being accepted into the amazing Oregon ballet school.