‘Dance, a passion unbounded by class, religion, or financial status, lies at the heart of ‘Yeh Ballet,’ a Netflix original film directed by Sooni Taraporewala and produced by Siddharth Roy Kapur under the Roy Kapur Films banner. The narrative follows an eccentric ballet master who discovers two gifted yet underprivileged Mumbai teens, confronting bigotry and disapproval as they chase their dancing dreams.

As the film marks its 4th anniversary today, here are 5 compelling reasons to experience ‘Yeh Ballet’ if you haven’t already:

1. A Tale of Struggle:
Nishu and Asif, with their contrasting backgrounds and personalities, unite in their shared battle against familial and societal expectations. Nishu, diligent and educated, clashes with his taxi driver father’s aspirations, while Asif, lacking education and guidance, confronts his uncle’s religious convictions. Both harbor dreams of transcending their circumstances through dance, showcasing the universal trials of pursuing passion amidst adversity.

2. Perpetual Divides:
‘Yeh Ballet’ subtly captures religious tensions, notably in Asif’s uncle’s disapproval of his involvement in celebrations of other religious festivals, and in the portrayal of riot-like tensions. Nishu’s humiliation at his friend’s home underscores class disparities. Despite their achievements, the film highlights how poverty continues to impede their lives, portraying the stark reality of adversity and the formidable challenges of effecting change.

3. Resilience and Dedication:
Nishu defies his father’s wishes, pursuing dance even after being cast out of his home. He earns shelter through labour and resorts to collecting residual water from air conditioners for bathing. The film poignantly illustrates the taxing journey of pursuing dreams, showcasing Asif’s steadfast commitment to ballet despite societal censure.

4. The Power of Support and Unity:
‘Yeh Ballet’ illuminates how individuals from diverse backgrounds unite in times of need. Jim Sarbh’s character, Saul’s boss, inspires the boys to excel, leading to a heartfelt dance performance. Despite initial scepticism, parents of both boys attend the show, witnessing their sons’ dedication. The boys’ performance not only brings pride to their families but also bridges societal divides, exemplifying the transformative power of love and support.

5. Real-Life Inspiration:
Inspired by the remarkable journeys of two exceptional dancers, ‘Yeh Ballet’ echoes the spirit of resilience and passion. Delving into Mumbai’s vibrant dance culture, the film offers a captivating narrative for dancers and intrigues those interested in contemporary socio-political landscapes.

‘Yeh Ballet’ beautifully illustrates the unifying force of art, particularly through music and dance, amidst societal divisions. Set in Mumbai, the film offers a compelling portrayal of the pursuit of dreams amidst social, religious, and class barriers.