In the marketplace of a small Ukrainian village, two beauties dance. They dance because poverty gives them no choice; dancing is the only way they can supplement their parents' pitiful wages.
Dancing draws attention when you're beautiful; not all of it is welcome. Drawn into a web of deceit, rape, and tyranny, the girls flee the Ukraine, seeking a new life in 1904 London.
Fleeing the country of their birth, they board a ship bound for England. They encounter trouble on board, from an overzealous doctor.
Arriving in a strange new land and unable to speak the language, the young women find a much-needed friend in a Russian tea shop owner, who finds them work in his restaurant's kitchen. Even so, they find themselves, once again, dancing in the streets to help pay the rent at their Soho boardinghouse.
Once again their dancing attracts attention, this time from a well-known impresario who sees talent and possibility in the two friends. Meeting him sets the girls on two very different paths. One rises to a position of power in affairs of state, while the other forges a successful show business career.
Tragedy and adversity dog both friends' careers, intermingled with triumphs and love. Perhaps, one day, two poor Ukrainian dancers will find the happiness they deserve.