In 2000, Slavik Kryklyvyy became the World Latin Dance Champion with his partner and lover Joanna Leunis. Enduring success seemed assured, but instead Slavik's career sputtered while Leunis went on to unrivaled glory with a replacement partner. A decade later Slavik has his sights set on a comeback. He has reteamed with a new partner—his girlfriend, amateur dance champion Anna Melnikova, and redemption seems within their grasp. But when it comes to making their relationship work both on and off the dance floor, will Slavik's unwavering ambition prove to be his greatest asset, or his fatal flaw?
Subtly depicting the pair's shifting dynamic through gestures, glances, and the dance itself, Ballroom Dancer quickly evolves beyond its comeback-story premise into a moving tragic love story, as Slavik's single-minded focus and perfectionism begin to drive a wedge between the pair. With a keen eye and intimate access, first-time filmmakers Christian Bonke and Andreas Koefoed capture a temperamental yet compelling character grasping for a tenderness and human connection that seems increasingly incompatible with the fulfillment of his life's ambition, and perhaps even with his very nature.
Length: 84 minutes
Language: Russian, English
Premiere: North American
Director: Christian Bonke, Andreas Koefoed
Screenwriter: Christian Bonke, Andreas Koefoed
Producer: Jakob Nordenhof Jønck
Editor: Åsa Mossberg, Marion Tuor
Director of Photography: Christian Bonke, Andreas Koefoed
Executive Producer: Sigrid Dyekjær
Composer: Magnus Jarlbo
Primary Cast: Slavik Kryklyvyy, Anna Melnikova
Christian Bonke and Andreas Koefoed both graduated from the National Film School of Denmark and have directed documentary films since 2001. Bonke was co-director of Ulrik Wivel's Roskilde in 2008 and Koefoed's shorts 12 Notes Down and Albert's Winter have won awards at Silverdocs and CPH:DOX.