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DVD/Videos: for Dancer who likes all dance

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Besides Center Stage (which is my daughter's favorite) what other ballet/dance movies would you recommend like it? I want to make a dancer's gift basket for my daughter for Christmas and want to include DVD's of some movies I think she will enjoy. She also dances jazz and hip hop if that helps with the thought process. I have Center Stage, Step Up 1 & 2 on my list already.



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Skip Step it up2, add Honey and Turning Pointe. Honey for the hip hop side of her, Turning Pointe for the Ballet side of her. We watched Step it up 2 this weekend. My kids liked the 1st one but watched but were not excited by the 2nd one.

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MGM's That's Entertainment series. Singing in the Rain, FAME (although much more mature than you remember it), Sargent Pepper Lonely Heart Club, Stick It, RENT (depending on age), HAIRSPRAY (FOR SURE!), Grease (once again more mature than you remember it to be), Chorus Line (Maturity warning), West Side STory (I personally HATE this one), :wacko::yes::cool2:

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See if this helps: Ballet Classics

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Just for fun...Strictly Ballroom. (No new steps!!) A ballroom dancer tries to break through the ballroom rules to dance from the heart. Mad Hot Ballroom is also really entertaining. It's a documentary about a dance training program in New York public schools that ends in a yearly competition.

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My dd hated Center Stage and all those that follow the theme of the young dancer ending up in bed with the choreographer/AD etc. She did enjoy The Company with Neve Campbell and Etoiles - Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet. This one is in French & subtitled in English, so we made it do double duty for homeschooling! :blushing: She also enjoys Princess Tutu a Japanese animé boxed set with 6 DVD's and about 4 or 6 segments on each DVD. I don't know how much dancing is really on that one, maybe more like a fairy tale adventure. We also have lots of DVD's of Balanchine choreography, favorite ballets, etc. Put Ballet DVD in on eBay and you'll find all types of goodies.

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"He makes me feel like dancing" with Jacques d'Amboise

"White nights" "The turning point"- classics...

"Ballet shoes" both the old version, and the new one

"Billy Elliot"

"A time for dancing"

"Take the lead"

"Shall we dance"


"Mlle Bessy" - about a French dancer who became director of the Paris Opera ballet school

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You're likely going to get a number of the standard responses and good ones at that, but here are a few movies that you might not have heard of, mostly foreign.



SHALL WE DANSU? by Suo Masayuki (Japanese)

You've likely seen the US remake with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez. This is the original Japanese version and (imo) is far superior in every way, including the casting which includes Yakusho Koji who is one of the great japanese actor of our time and Kusakari Tamiyo who was with Asami Maki ballet and (iirc) Tokyo Ballet.

If you do get this, then get the original Japanese version and not the Miramax one. The Miramax one was edited without the director's consent and cuts out almost 20min. Running time should be 136min.





HANA AND ALICE by Iwai Shunji is a fabulous movie (Japanese). It's a wonderful coming-of-age story about 2 girls going into high school. A part of their lives is ballet; while it is not central to the story, it does play a role, for instance when the girls get their pointe shoes for the first time or when they take pictures in tutus. Iwai manages to capture the magic of the moment. The culminating scene is when Alice auditions and performs on on-the-spot variation. Her technique is not perfect, nor is it supposed to be, but it captures the essence of loving ballet which is far more difficult to capture.


Iwai Shunji is one of my favorite Japanese directors and this is one of my favorite films.





...ING (SKorean)

It's a very good Korean romantic melodrama and the ballet component is that the lead girl is terminal and loves GISELLE. There are clips of the Alessandra Ferri GISELLE shown here and there in the movie. Overall, it's a fine film, though does not focus on dance.





It's a coming of age film about a young high school boy and a local ballet studio. It's off-and-on in tone and focus and overall is a decent film, with some outstanding moments. The Korean title roughly translates to BALLET SCHOOL and really does revolve around this community center's ballet class and the interesting band of disparate individuals that are learning ballet there. Of course there's a big dance concert/performance at the end. In a bit of a refreshing change of pace, the dancing is done by the actors and while it doesn't have the polish or technique of a performance filled with dance doubles, it has an enthusiasm and a rawness that is engaging.





It's a biopic about the 7 Little Fortunes (which includes Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah,...) in the Peking Opera. It's drama with an excellent performances by Sammo Hung playing his old teacher. It's not strictly dancing, but it is about a different time and a different place and how training was handled. The pain behind the beauty, if you will.







I've not seen this, but heard some nice decent things about it. Looks interesting enough esp for a ballet fan.



Some older US movies that you may not have thought of




Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire at their prime. They're both a bit dated, but are quite genial and lovely. The dancing is excellent, natch, and humor first rate. And let me just say, "Rita Hayworth.... *swooooooon*" They just don't make actresses like that anymore. YOU'LL NEVER GET RICH has the better dancing, but overall as a film, i enjoy YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER more.




Edited by EvilNinjaX
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What about "Save the Last Dance"? I don't think it's too racy for a 13 year old. I also like "American in Paris", but it might not be something a 13 year old would like - however GREAT dance scenes.

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If she's open to the above suggestions of classic Hollywood films (and I hope she is - my kids loved them all), I'll add "The Band Wagon" and "On the Town." In the first, Cyd Charisse plays a ballerina who agrees to perform in a Broadway musical opposite a Hollywood song-and-dance man (Fred Astaire), despite being too tall for him, and the movie has a lot of fun with their differing styles until they fall in love (of course) and establish a great partnership in the numbers "Dancing in the Dark" and "The Girl Hunt Ballet. "On the Town" was a groundbreaking musical in many ways, including using an extended ballet number express the hero's emotional state and move the storyline forward (two years before "An American in Paris" did the same). Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen are wonderful as always, and there is the amazing Ann Miller in a great, great tap number.

Edited by in transit
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