Skip to content

Holding on to the Barre by Red Palette Pictures: A Kickstarter Project…

December 22, 2012
Marie-Christine Mouis

Marie-Christine Mouis

An inspirational story of Marie-Christine Mouis, a former principal of the Boston Ballet who shows her determination to never give up.


HOLDING ON TO THE BARRE is a documentary about a classically trained dancer’s stamina and fight to recover. The tragic experience of former principal ballerina of the Boston Ballet, Marie-Christine Mouis, whose “technique, expression and womanly sensuality set her apart from other dancers” and who is today confined to a wheelchair, doesn’t alter her belief that she will win. It was just a little more than a decade ago that she was still dancing and appeared on the New York stage. But a few years ago Marie-Christine fell ill with an unknown disease. There were several terrifying diagnoses she had to face and there was no doctor who was certain. Finally, after doing research, she realized she had Lyme disease. Better known as MC, Marie-Christine lives in New York with her 15 year-old daughter, Annabelle. Even in her resistance to pain or persistent self-treatment, Marie-Christine never loses her sense of humor, her charm and disarming smile. This film explores the struggles that MC faces, yet shows her firm determination to defeat the disease.

Marie-Christine Mouis, Subject of the documentaryMarie-Christine Mouis began her professional career at age sixteen with the Paris Opera, where she soon was promoted to soloist and given many featured roles by leading choreographers, including solos specifically created for her by Sir Kenneth MacMillan.  In 1981 Miss Mouis joined the Boston Ballet as Principal Dancer and soon cultivated an audience following.  She created original works by company choreographers and soon developed a partnership with Rudolf Nureyev, receiving international critical claim from their various tours together.  In 1990, Ms. Mouis danced in Boston Ballet’s Russian-American production of Swan Lake and was coached by the great Kirov dancer, Natalia Dudinskaya.  Ms. Mouis has appeared as guest artist around the world and has staged a production of Swan Lake in Florence.  She performed at the Kennedy Center’s 25th anniversary celebration in 1995, dancing Balanchine’s Chaconne staged by Suzanne Farrell. She last  appeared on the stage in 1998 in Carmina Burana (choreographer Donald Byrd) with New York City Opera.

Marie-Christine with her daughter Annabelle

Marie-Christine with her daughter Annabelle


Our ultimate goal is to share the story of Marie-Christine by broadcasting it on TV channels such as PBS, Documentary Channel, and at film festivals around the world. We would also like to look for a DVD distributor so that the film will be available for sale to audiences everywhere. A portion of the profits from the sales will be donated to assist Marie-Christine with her medical bills.

To achieve our goal, we must cover final costs before we can release the film to the public.

The threefold objectives of this Kickstarter campaign are to cover the costs of:

  • filming final interviews with Marie-Christine and her colleagues.
  • post production, music and film footage licensing fees.
  • our Kickstarter incentives.

The Kickstarted Project

Marie-Christine Mouis & Rudolf Nureyev

Marie-Christine Mouis & Rudolf Nureyev


Yelena Demikovsky, Director

Robert J. King, 

Piero Basso, Director of Photography

Fatima Benbrahim, Editor

Staś Kmieć, Project Consultant

Nancy Sifton, Project Assistant

HOLDING ON TO THE BARRE is fiscally sponsored by Dance Films Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered with the New York Charities Bureau of New York State. Dance Films Association accepts grants or tax deductible donations on behalf of filmmakers. We will happily accept your tax-free donation. Contact us at to learn more.

From → Ballet

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: