Woman in the Mirror

: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Completed


A graduate of the prestigious Vaganova Academy and a driven ballerina of Jewish descent, who defected from the Soviet Union, toes her way from being a principal dancer of the Boston Ballet to leading a diverse group of ballet students in their difficult journey to become professional dancers.



Nestled in a small New England town is a powerhouse of a ballet school. Its genesis includes the dramatic story of a prima ballerina defecting from the Soviet Union, her tenuous climb to personal and artistic freedom. In a story revealed in dance studio mirrors, Alexandra, a graduate of the prestigious Vaganova Academy and a driven ballerina is leading a diverse group of ballet students in their difficult journey to become professional dancers.
Alexandra Koltun recounts the struggles of her father and family and, fearing similar limitations as a Soviet Jew, she makes a quite unsettling, if not dangerous, leap into what she hopes will be a new and freer life. She was only 20 when she made this decision, leaving her family behind. Although she was confused by her motives back then, she now reflects and understands that it was this innate antisemitism that drove her decision to leave Russia,
Her fearless determination shapes her character and personality as she begins a successful career in her new home. Finally, she leaves the stage, founding her own school, Koltun Ballet Boston. Alexandra teaches as she was taught in her homeland, with technical precision and a firm hand, only hard work and discipline will define those who will survive the last 4 years of training.

The documentary takes an insightful look into the lives of the students as they struggle with the challenges such as physical and emotional stress of intense ballet training, anxiety and clinical depression, family breakup.


I am a Ukrainian born documentary film director. I believe the film  Woman in the Mirror is  relevant and important  especially now, with events happening in the world and in Ukraine. The film shows the inherited trauma of the Soviet era, the tyranny which existed internally in Russia when we lived there as children and young people. Alexandra explains it well in the film, when she lived there with the fears of being Jewish, hiding her nationality, now this tyranny transformed into the aggression against Ukrainian people.  It is not like any other documentary, this film does not dwell on the past, does not go back, although it mentions her father being persecuted because he was Jewish and what it meant to be Jewish in Soviet Russia. The film is about the future, it is against antisemitism and oppression which is happening right now around the world. It is a story of a woman who was persecuted by the same government as Putin now, the film is about present life and  about future life because it looks into our kids and our new generation. 


Tatyana Bronstein - Director/Producer

Tatyana is an independent director/producer based in Boston, Massachusetts. She has directed feature documentaries and short narratives, which have been shown at the prestigious film festivals throughout the world. In her documentary, “PRIMA” (2013) she worked closely with the Boston Ballet. The film was selected to premier at the “Dance on Camera” film festival presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. She is a Lecturer at Boston University for the Department of Film & Television. Born in Ukraine, Tatyana’s unique perspective and knowledge of the film arts merges American and European cultures into an experience not to be missed.


Connect With The Filmmakers:


The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2024
NewFilmmakers NY, semi-finalist, 2023
WORLD PREMIERE. Miami Jewish Film Festival 2023. https://miamijewishfilmfestival.org/films/2023/wom
Women's International Film & Arts Festival
IFFBoston 2023
The 32nd Woods Hole Film Festival


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