A Russian ballerina struggling for one play in Bolshoi theatre.
A young Russian girl from a depressed family in a backwater mining town is spared reform school after an aging drunkard ex-ballet-star from the Bolshoi Theatre recognises her rare natural talent purely by chance. He swallows the shame of his own personal failure to pitch her to a training school in Moscow with the hope that after eight years she'll be accepted to the Bolshoi Ballet as a soloist. That's the first five minutes; then the real struggle begins. Julia's journey to stardom is plagued by pain, poverty, loveless isolation, loneliness, betrayal, backstabbing and at times incredible loyalty and sacrifice. To call her story epic would be an understatement.