Sylie Bertrand is a young girl who is studying to be a ballerina at the Paris Opera Ballet School in 1870. Due to poverty, her mother had to leave the ballet to marry years ago and now she is living through her hopes and dreams for Sylvie - if she could not become a famous ballerina, then Sylie must. Although Sylvie likes the ballet sometimes she wonders if she will ever have a life beyond her mother's dreams. Her older sister, Chantal, hated the way her mother lived through her and decided to rebel, pretending to be lazy so she would be forced to leave the ballet. When the Franco-Prussian War breaks out and Paris falls under siege Sylvie gets a glimpse of the real world where there is sickness and starvation. She struggles with how it contrasts with the perfect world of the ballet. As the situation in Paris worsens Sylvie decides she must do something to help.
This report prepared by Rebecca Herman