THE MUSIC SOARS. THE CURTAIN LIFTS.
Marie van Goethem rises on her toes and floats across the stage of the Paris Opera. In that moment, she is happy.
Unfortunately, that is almost the only joy in Marie's life. When she's not dancing, Marie is tormented by hunger, overwhelmed by her mother's uncontrolled drinking, and angered by her older sister's selfishness.
But then, Edgar Degas demands the young ballerina's presence in his studio. As she poses for the famous artist, Marie dreams...of a life without poverty, of being with her true love, and of becoming a star of the ballet.
While Monsieur Degas immortalizes young Marie with Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, a sculpture that garners international acclaim, the real Marie struggles to find happiness and security in a cruel, unforgiving world.