The story of the film is in line with the story of the ballet 'Giselle' and how closely the protagonists' lives are connected to it.
Dancing on Glass is a Spanish drama film directed by Jota Linares. It stars María Pedraza and Paula Losada as Irene and Aurora in a story that follows the two women as ballerinas dancing for a ballet company. When immense pressure threatens the ballerina in a new lead role, she and another dancer escape into a friendship that isolates them from the real world as they live free from the expectations of others.
The film premiered on 8 April 2022 on Netflix and has received mixed reactions with some people claiming it is reminiscent of the 2010 film, Black Swan.
Here's what you can expect from the film:
The story has a story within it that is in line with the reality of the two lead women. It begins with the death of the lead ballerina of the company of suicide. She is replaced by Irene who soon realizes she is disliked for getting the role that everyone assumed another dancer named Ruth would be getting. Irene is treated badly by her co-performers and also does not have the support of her family. She starts to feel isolated and after the first day of practice, she meets Aurora who also feels out of place because of a birthmark on her face that others made fun of her for. The two form a bond and soon become inseparable.
The girls find solace in each other and respite from what others expect from them. Aurora is controlled by her mother who was a ballerina herself and wanted to live her dreams through her daughter. Aurora, who has never experienced any love in life before, meets Jon who briefly flirts with her. She falls in love with him but is shattered to find him with another woman. The shock of having witnessed this leads to a car accident severely injuring Aurora. She is asked to stay at home and rest, keeping her away from Irene. Even though her mother disapproves of Aurora's friendship with Irene, the girls convince her to let them be together.
Giselle is a romantic ballet role that is much-coveted. It is in two acts and tells the tragic story of a beautiful young peasant girl who falls in love with Albrecht, a deceitful nobleman. When his ruse is revealed, the fragile Giselle dies of heartbreak, and Albrecht must face the otherworldly consequences of his careless seduction. In the second act, we see a ghost-filled story of revenge, as young women betrayed by lovers dance the night away to put men to death by exhaustion. But Giselle is the exception as she does not commit the vengeful act and frees herself as well as her lover.
Death, deceit, revenge, and the search for love are common themes in the lives of Irene and Aurora as well. They are in search of solace, that they find in each other but everyone around them seems to be out for their blood. From their parents to their ballet instructor and their peers, the only safe space they have is each other and dance.
On show night, Aurora sneaks in backstage to be there for Irene. This fills her with confidence as she dances perfectly onstage. Before the second act, their instructor, Norma, finds Aurora backstage and tries to get her away from Irene. There is an altercation that happens in the dressing room and Irene tries to protect Aurora by pushing Norma away. She hits her head on the table and dies. Although rattles, Aurora asks Irene to finish her dance as though nothing happened. She knows it won't be long till they are found out. Seeing her dance gives Aurora comfort. At the end of the show, people find that Irene is missing and so is Norma.
Irene takes Aurora and runs up to the roof after the show. They are in their safe space. Aurora's mother finds them there but it's too late. The two of them are ready to live in the land of their dreams forever as they jump off the roof. We can say they too died of heartbreak in a world of pressure and being kept away from each other. They hoped to join the land of maidens who would dance through the night in the afterlife.