In 1989, a Jewish American ballerina wants one thing: to become prima ballerina for the San Francisco Ballet. As she waits in the wings to go onstage, the lead ballerina never shows. The Jewish ballerina pushes past the other dancers to audition five minutes before curtain goes up. Desperate, San Francisco’s artistic director gives her the nod.
When the curtain comes down, the audience goes crazy. Two visiting Russians are impressed with her that night, her dance partner who needs his green card and intends to marry her to get it, and a Bolshoi Director who wants to hire her. But when the dancer tells the Russian director that she is a Jew, his opinion of her plummets since he has a long history of ruining Jewish careers.
The next morning, she reads his disparaging comments in the critics’ columns. She is demoted, then fired, and after a devastating earthquake, her only chance of becoming prima ballerina is with the Russian director who ruined her career.
She wonders, Am I willing to pretend that I’m not Jewish to dance for a man who despises my people?
There is one other person who notices her that night, a Christian stagehand.
Slender and regal, the young ballerina finished her pirouette. Tilting her head in his direction, her heart-shaped face was set with determination, her sea-green eyes beautiful enough to mesmerize any man. He held his breath for several seconds.
Then, knowing that he might never be the same again, he exhaled.
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