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"Navillera" on Netflix


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Netflix has been airing a new ballet-themed k-drama, Navillera (Like a Butterfly). There are going to be 12 episodes, new episodes drop on Mondays and Tuesdays, 8 are currently available.

The main characters are a retired 70-year-old mailman who has always loved ballet and decides that he wants to learn it and the much younger dancer who becomes his teacher and is also trying to get into a company/win a competition. Their relationship is the main focus of the drama.

Other things to like about it: no associations of ballet with mental illness, abuse, etc. The teachers and dancers are generally supportive and hardworking and ballet is just he beautiful art form they all love. One of this week's episodes featured a dancer in a wheelchair.

I am really enjoying it so far but suspect it will end up being a tearjerker.

More information here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joanmacdonald/2021/03/23/in-ballet-drama-navillera-two-characters-must-abandon-regret-to-soar/?sh=3c68ec194b73

Trailer here: 

 

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That's so timely for BA! -- just earlier today, The Travelling Ballerina posted about her interview with retired dancer Gavin Larsen, who has just written a memoir (releasing on April 27).  She said, 

 

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 I do think that this is a really opportune moment for people to read Being a Ballerina. There has been a lot of relatively negative and melodramatic depiction of ballet in popular culture over the past few years, and while I am happy for ballet to be on the national radar, I don’t feel any of it is honest about what it really, really really means to be a dancer. 

 

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Navirella is based on a Korean comic and the comic itself is fabulous, it makes me cry reading each episode. Gradually the reason why this 70 year old man is starting ballet at this age is revealed. (it will be a spoiler so I won't write but some readers might assume) The message of this story is so wonderful that you can still be beautiful by practicing ballet even if you are not going to be professional or are old or having handicaps. 

It is curious that most of the family members are not supportive of this man, so this story is something like a Billy Elliot old man version. 

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