I’m not sure what spurred this run of dance movies (maybe the return of Dancing with the Stars), but it has been fun and I’ve got one for this week too. Back in 2000, Center Stage was released.
It’s sort of like Fame as students work to get into a program at American Ballet Academy (which seems to be located at Lincoln Center). There are, of course, auditions that are tense. Then there’s the forming of clicks and the competition for key roles in the showcase. People fall in love, freak out over any number of issues and, all the while, keep finding reasons to dance.
Some excellent casting choices here too. Broadway diva and Tony winner Donna Murphy is the tough dance instructor. She’s awesome in this role (to be fair, I’ve loved her in everything I’ve seen her do). It’s fun watching her do her thing. Screen and stage star Peter Gallagher is on board as is Debra Monk, another Broadway regular. Priscilla Lopez from the original cast of A Chorus Line also has a cameo has a dance instructor. There’s also a lot of chorus dancers from Contact, which was running at he time. No surprise about the Contact folks because the film is choreographed by Susan Stroman, who directed Contact (and has since directed/choreographed both the stage and film musical version of The Producers).
If you want a great Geek Out triple feature, I’d suggest watching this along with Fame and Camp. It would be an excellent seven hours!
Here are two clips from Center Stage to show off the great dancing! On the left is the scene that has Priscilla Lopez. A YouTuber messed with this clip a bit, but it has the basic jazz class scene mingled with some other dancing clips. The right has the big dance finale!
Happy Dancing Friday!