Isabelle Lapierre in a still from Finding Clara. Courtesy Justice Studios.

Your Favorite "Nutcracker" Web Series Has Just Been Turned Into a Full-Length Documentary

Last winter, we told you all about "Finding Clara," a YouTube series produced by tween clothing brand Justice. It followed four BalletMet Academy students cast in BalletMet's The Nutcracker. This year, it gets even better: The heart-melting show has been turned into a full-length documentary. Finding Clara was released today for rental and purchase on Amazon, Google Play and iTunes.


The documentary follows four dancers (Alaina Kelly, Molly Rainford-Dreibelbis, Lauren Grace Onderko and Isabelle Lapierre, who range in age from 10-13) over the course of three months, from auditions to rehearsals to opening night. We see the young bunheads' struggles and joys, namely how they work to find a balance between school, homework, ballet and family... and an incident involving a wooden nutcracker and a trip to the emergency room. The 90 minute documentary expands on the web series with never-before-seen footage, including interviews with artistic director Edwaard Liang and BalletMet company members. Justice and BalletMet, both headquartered in Columbus, OH, are natural collaborators, and this film is a product of Justice's new entertainment division, Justice Studios, which hopes to build on the company's mission as a"destination for all things tween girl." We're hoping that means even more ballet content is on its way (last year they put out a series of ballet tutorials on YouTube.)

The four Claras. Courtesy Justice Studios.

While Finding Clara is geared towards a younger audience, the four dancers' enthusiasm and energy is infectious, and reminds ballet lovers of all ages of the magic of Nutcracker and the thrill of your first big role. We're giving away five copies of this new DVD (including some extra gifts) to Pointe readers; enter here to win!

Latest Posts


Vikki Sloviter

Sydney Dolan Takes Center Stage at Pennsylvania Ballet

This is Pointe's Summer 2020 cover story. You can subscribe to the magazine here, or click here to purchase this issue.

Just days before the world shuttered under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic, and the curtain came down indefinitely on dance companies everywhere, Pennsylvania Ballet soloist Sydney Dolan debuted Gamzatti in La Bayadère with captivating ease. Her jumps soared, her technique was sound, and her cheeky smile paired with exquisite port de bras was beguiling. Though she didn't know the company would soon cancel the remainder of its season, her beautiful performance acted as a kind of send-off into the unknown.

Dolan's career could be described in one word: charmed. At just 19 years old, she's flown through the ranks at PAB, debuted a long list of roles, won a Princess Grace Award and been named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch." Yet it's her challenges that have shaped not only her training but her outlook, giving her a solid foundation for becoming one of Pennsylvania Ballet's rising stars.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Courtesy Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Alonzo King LINES Ballet Reconnects with Nature in This 5-Part Video Series

Earlier this month, Alonzo King LINES Ballet released the first in a series of five dance films, part of a new project entitled "There Is No Standing Still." The series features company members spanning 10 cities and four continents dancing amid their outdoor environments, in spaces ranging from quiet forests to rocky deserts to the ocean shore. While COVID-19 has put the company's normal activity on hold and forced the dancers to separate from each other physically, "There Is No Standing Still" allows LINES to create new material together in a different way. Directed by Robert Rosenwasser and edited by Philip Perkins, this installment of five short films incorporates choreography by artistic director Alonzo King and company dancers as they become one with the space around them. Check out the first two, released last month, below.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
VAM/Siggul, Courtesy YAGP

YAGP Has Announced the Winners of the 2020 Pas De Deux Virtual Competition

Last weekend, Youth America Grand Prix took to the internet, hosting its first virtual pas de deux competition. Over the course of three days, YAGP streamed videos from its regional events' highest-ranked competitors for a panel of esteemed judges. And, drum roll please... YAGP has just announced the winners, spanning three categories: Senior Classical, Junior Classical and Contemporary.

You can watch the full virtual awards ceremony, hosted by YAGP director of external affairs Sergey Gordeev, below, or scroll down for the list of winners. And if you're missing the thrill of competition, don't fear: Gordeev announced that registration for the 2021 season will open on July 10, with both in-person and virtual options available.

Congratulations to all!

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks