Film & TV

5 Dance Movies To Watch Again and Again

From the delightfully poignant Billy Elliot to the more provocative Black Swan, these films prove that cinema and rhythm can go hand in hand perfectly.
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Black Swan [2010]
 

Nina, an extraordinarily talented and dedicated dancer, has been struggling with a morbid and controlling mother-daughter relationship her whole life. Affected by unaddressed anxiety and mental imbalances, she begins to have increasingly frequent hallucinations that, after a while, become her reality. In the middle of it all, Nina is tapped to be the principal dancer for her company’s production of Swan Lake – a role that requires her to embrace both the white and black swan within. Natalie Portman, the protagonist of the film, received a Best Actress Oscar for this role.

Fame [1980]
 

This High School of Performing Arts is full of aspiring talents fighting it out to secure (and retain) a place at the prestigious institution. The film explores just how much singers, actors, and dancers are willing to work and sacrifice to achieve their dreams. Thanks to its brilliant story-line and talented cast, the film won three Academy Awards and two Golden Globes.

Billy Elliot [2000]
 

This is perhaps the most beautiful dance film ever made. Billy Elliot is a 12 year old boy who dreams of becoming a classical dancer – a dream that he must defend against his, unfortunately, closed-minded surroundings, family and friends. The film is set in the 80s: a time when men classical ballet was synonymous with homosexuality for men. The young boy’s father, like many in the community, is a miner and would much rather have his son be a boxer but Billy will not be stopped by anything or anyone. Not even prejudices.

Footloose  [1984]
 

Chicagoan city boy, Ren, is a newcomer to the lost town of Beaumont – peculiar town to say the least, considering that rock music and dance have been banned by its citizens. The reason? Two young boys lost their lives in an accident coming back from a concert a few years earlier. Ren, a rebel, is willing to do whatever it takes to prove that rock and dance are not corrupters of morality. As if the storyline wasn’t enough, this movie’s final dance scene earned it a cult status.

Save the Last Dance [2001]
 

17 year-old Sarah is a former ballerina who left the world of dance after losing her mother in a tragic accident after an audition. Obliged to move in with her father in a rough part of Chicago, she struggles to find her place not just in this new environment but in a world without ballet. Soon, she falls in love with her kind and intelligent classmate, Derek, who reminds her of the true beauty of dance and convinces her to pursue her dream of attending the Julliard School. Starring Julia Stiles as Sarah, this film is one of the first of many that celebrate both classical dance and hip-hop as beautiful art forms.

Photos courtesy of Out Now.

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