Even though I don't know the difference between an Arabesque or a Pas de couru it didn't stop me enjoying this movie (they're ballet terms in case you're wondering). Based on the ABC1 TV Emmy-nominated series of the same name, the story is set eighteen months after the series finale. The group of teens who trained at the elite National Academy of Dance have moved onto various stages of their lives since finishing their studies.
Movies based on TV series have a tendency not to translate well in the longer format but this wasn't the case with DANCE ACADEMY. The writers have cleverly weaved in the backstory so you know what's happening even if you haven't seen the series.
Tara, the lead character, sustained an injury crippling her ballet career and still desires a return to centre stage. Even though the accident haunts her, Tara dreams of a comeback but has she been out of the game too long?
Flashbacks show how much Tara's pain holds her back whilst she tries to make a new life as a university student and working at the Sydney Opera House behind a bar, where dance is still all around her.
This movie showcases some talented young actors in a story about following your dreams, a believable story if somewhat dramatic in a few places. Depicting the world of professional dance as tough and unyielding, the story flows and captures the angst of these young millennials navigating their lives through their shared friendships.
The characters portray positive role models for teens, especially Tara who has to come to terms with choosing to leave Christian, her boyfriend who helped her heal after the accident, to chase her extraordinary dream. Fans of the TV series will understand her motivation having witnessed Tara's accident in her third year at the Academy.
Anyone who has endured a creative obsession will empathise with the struggles these young dancers must tolerate to achieve their dreams. Tara's journey to chase an impossible comeback are what dreams are made of. DANCE ACADEMY is about following your dreams no matter what, because what eventuates may surprise you.
This is a movie for anyone who enjoys dance, if you enjoy seeing a feel-good story or just to enjoy a good Aussie flick. There is a great scene showcasing the Opera House and those iconic sails and steps. This, along with the New York settings make it a must to watch this movie at a cinema.
The young cast: Xenia Goodwin (Tara)
Jordan Rodrigues (Christian)
Keiynan Lonsdale (Ollie)
Alicia Banit (Kat),
Thomas Lacey (Ben)
Nic Westaway (Xavier)
They are joined by accomplished actors Tara Morice (Miss Raine) and Miranda Otto (Madeline Moncur).
Photos and video courtesy of DANCE ACADEMY website