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Movies: Save the Last Dance 2; A Rant

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This evening I watched Save the Last Dance 2. I was once again dissapointed to watch yet another movie (others include Step Up 1 and 2, and the first Save the Last Dance) where someone starting off as a classical ballet dancer decides to go for hip-hop. I for one don't like this trend. Is ballet no longer good enough?


It just goes beyond my comprehension to understand why someone who has done ballet for years, and has always dreamed about a proffesional career in ballet would convert to something like hip-hop. Could it be because hip-hop is an easier alternative?


Perhaps it is just me and my view that ballet is the ultimate form of dancing, and a career in ballet would be an absolute honour, but I would really love to see some dance movies portraying ballet to be higher esteemed than hip-hop or other forms for a change. I think it is about time ballet is given the respect it deserves!

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You address a couple of issues here, Tutulicious. First, I don't really think there is a trend for ballet trained dancers to turn to hip hop. It is possible that some of them do it for the same reasons they turn to modern dance, jazz, Broadway, or TV, which is because they, even though trained in ballet, are either better at another dance form, or they just enjoy it more. Or both. :clapping: Also, perhaps they can get work in another area when they cannot get a job in a professional ballet company.


Second, while there are not very many, there are a few movies that are about ballet and not hip hop or other dance forms. Have you seen The Turning Point? How about The Red Shoes? They are old movies, but still very good ones! :thumbsup:

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I would offer that the particular movies you mentioned, Tutulicious, were not made to reflect real life, but rather were 'stories' created to entertain---and more importantly, make money for the film studio, et al. :clapping:

So, the story plot line is driven by the appeal to the target market. Many more teens (both boys and girls) would relate or 'understand' a conversion to hip hop than they would to ballet. :thumbsup:


Case in point, even my non-dd (who has sworn to never again attend a 'Nutcracker' or any other dance program, whether her sister is in it or not) enjoys the particular movies you mentioned. DD, on the other hand, finds many flaws in the dancing in the movies to really enjoy them from that perspective, but nonetheless does find them entertaining.

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To be fair, in Save the Last Dance the girl leaves ballet because she associates it with her mother's death (her mom having died in a car accident on the way to watch her audition). It has nothing to do with a preference for hip-hop. Learning hip-hop is a vehicle for connecting with new friends and healing her battered soul. And in the end ... doesn't she return to ballet and modern?

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And in the end ... doesn't she return to ballet and modern?


I'm pretty sure she got into Juilliard.

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Here's a real-life story that goes the other way -- Joseph Cavanaugh, a gorgeous hunk of a dancer with Arizona Ballet, started dancing because of hip hop, and ended up hooked on ballet.

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I think that's true of quite a number of male ballet dancers, actually. I know several who've started out in jazz or modern or tap and ended up in ballet. I also know a couple Irish male dancers who've gone over to ballet.

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Well since her audition was Julliard Arts, I was told by a dancer who was accepted into the program, if they know you are classical train in ballet, pick a piece showing you have versatility in other dancer forms. So in this case she really was outside her comfort zone. In fact they must be ready too show two contrasting solos. I do believe she felt she had her ballet down, but she ask her friend to help her with this different dance form.

Edited by mirabray
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Remember this though: This is a movie we're talking about, and in the movies, the story of the elitist who comes down with the rest of humanity to be cool is a cliché. There are stories about the opera singer who lets go to sing the blues, there are stories about the ballet dancers who all of a sudden start dancing a vernacular vocabulary(tap, jazz, hip-hop), there are stories about stage actors who become traveling salesmen! It's all a part of the leveling tradition in the wider culture.

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I didn't feel Step Up 2 followed the same cliche as these other movies mentioned. It stuck primarily to street dance, and for that I really, really liked it. And I'm generally a harsh critic. I hated STLD, the first Step Up, and even Center Stage. The only recent Hollywood dance movie that I feel does ballet justice is The Company. But that's just MHO.

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levendergrl -- thanks for the recommendation of "The Company!" I've never heard of it and it sounds awesome. I had no idea Neve Campbell is such a highly trained dancer.

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  • 10 months later...

Here's another question, would Juilliard even accept that performance the character did? And why didn' the movie producers (or whoever chooses the casting) find some real ballet dancers to do the whoel character? Julia Stiles even admits she can't dance which could be why the last audition was inconsitant in technique and quality. I'm not saying I could do better because I know I can't even do the splits at the moment. But in the eyes of Juliard, would it really be good enough?

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