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Dance in film

Movies

Dance in film

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Purpose of the list

This article lists movies featuring recognizable dance forms, demonstrating them, shedding light on their origin, or being the base of a plot.

This article is not about Dance film or Dance for camera which are separate genres. It is also not about Musical films, although they often contain significant amount of dancing. However they are a specific form of art in itself, therefore their listings generally pertain to the articles specifically related to the topic of musicals. This by no means prevent musicals from including here, but they are required to meet the outlined criteria. Fred Astaire's and Gene Kelly's filmographies may significantly contribute to these lists.

In addition, while fight scenes are actually complex dances as well, the genre where this scene is at its most sophisticated in the martial arts film.

Movies with plot based on dance

Ballet

The Red Shoes (1948) - Film classic with dance editing far ahead of its time. Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, starring Moira Shearer. Intricately weaving backstage life with the thrill of performance, this film centers on the dilemma of a young ballerina torn between the composer who loves her and the impresario determined to fashion her into a great dancer. 134 min, and based loosely on the fairytale.
The Tales of Hoffmann (1951) - Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, starring Moira Shearer and Ludmilla Tchérina. Film version of Jacques Offenbach's opera but making full use of film techniques and special effects. Not just a film of a stage production.
Dancers - movie starring Mikhail Baryshnikov, about a ballet company.
Center Stage (2000) - movie about the students of the American Ballet Academy. Surprisingly true to life although poor script.
The Turning Point (1977 film) - The story of two women whose lives are dedicated to ballet. Deedee left her promising dance career to become a wife and mother and now runs a ballet school in Oklahoma. Emma stayed with a company and became a star though her time is nearly past. Both want what the other has and reflects back on missed chances as they are brought together again through Deedee's daughter who joins the company. Starring: Shirley MacLaine, Anne Bancroft, Tom Skerrit, Anthony Zerbe, Leslie Browne, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Alexandra Danilova.
The Company (2003) - An inside look at the world of ballet. With the complete cooperation of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Robert Altman follows the stories of the dancers, whose professional and personal lives grow impossibly close, as they cope with the demands of a life in the ballet. Neve Campbell plays a gifted but conflicted company member on the verge of becoming a principal dancer at a fictional Chicago troupe, with Malcolm McDowell playing the company's co-founder and artistic director, considered one of America's most exciting choreographers. James Franco plays Campbell's boyfriend and one of the few characters not involved in the world of dance.
White Nights - movie starring Mikhail Baryshnikov about a Russian dancer who wants to defect
Save the Last Dance (2000) - movie starring Julia Stiles as a girl who wants to study as a professional dancer.

Ballroom

Dance with Me (1998), starring Vanessa L. Williams and Chayanne - plot based on Latin dancing: ballroom vs. street.
The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle - documentary-style biopic about early ballroom dance stars Vernon and Irene Castle.
Shall We Dance? ((Japanese version: Dansu wo shimashô ka: 1996, USA: 1997) - plot based on ballroom dance in Japan
Shall We Dance? (2004) - remake of the Japanese movie starring Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere
Strictly Ballroom - plot based on competitive ballroom dance.
Mad Hot Ballroom (2005) a documentary about a ballroom dance program for fifth graders in the New York City public school system.
Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School (2005)
Take the Lead (2006) starring Antonio Banderas as a ballroom dance studio teacher who volunteers to teach dance in a New York public school

Tango

Assassination Tango (2002), starring Robert Duvall, Rubén Blades and Kathy Baker, directed by Robert Duvall
Tango (1998), starring Cecilia Narova and Mía Maestro, directed by Carlos Saura. Director, Carlos Saura. Popular dancers and folk groups demonstrate what is considered to be the national dance of Argentina. Over 300 dancers participate as they are photographed by the master cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro. Here is an exciting video clip of this movie online.
The Tango Bar (1998), starring Raúl Juliá
The Tango Lesson (1997), starring Sally Potter and Pablo Verón, directed by Sally Potter

Other

Oh... Rosalinda!! (1955) - Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, starring Anton Walbrook and Ludmilla Tchérina. Based on the operetta Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss but updated to take place in post-war Vienna as occupied by the four-powers of Britain, America, France and Russia.
Luna de miel (1959) - Directed by Michael Powell and starring Ludmilla Tchérina and Antonio. A light story showcasing the talents of Antonio and his troupe of Spanish dancers. Also many travelogue style scenes of Spain before the tourist boom.
Dirty Dancing (1987) - plot based on club/performance partner dancing
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004) - prequel to Dirty Dancing
Shall We Dance? (1937) a Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musical with lots of dance, including ballet, the most memorable being dance on roller skates.
Bring it On (2000) - movie starring Kirsten Dunst about cheerleading.
Flamenco (1995) - A must-see for flamenco lovers. Performers: Paco de Lucía, Manolo Sanlúcar, Enrique Morente, Joaquin Cortes, Jose Menese, Lole y Manuel, Mario Maya, Jose Merce, Matilde Coral, Carmen Linares, Merche Esmeralda, Chocolate, Manuela Carrasco, Farruco, Fernanda de Utrera, La Paquera de Jerez, Manzanita, Ketama, Agujeta, Manuel Moneo, Paco Toronjo, Maria Pages, Aurora Vargas, Remedios Amaya, Juana la del Revuelo, La Macanita, Chano Lobato, Rancapino, Tomatito, Potito, Duquende, Belen Maya, El Grilo.
Singin' in the Rain starring Gene Kelly
Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta, featuring a disco dancing competition.
Save the Last Dance (2001) starring Julia Stiles, a highschool girl who strives to get into the Juilliard Dance Academy. See also IMDB

Movies with memorable dance scenes

Addams Family Values (1993) featuring Raúl Juliá in a stunning scene of Tango.
El Bolero de Raquel ("Raquel's Bolero", 1967, Spanish language), the title is a pun for Ravel's Bolero. The movie stars Cantinflas featuring a bootblack, who, in one episode, simplemindedly joins a professional dancer during her performance to Ravel's Bolero producing both comical and highly artictic Spanish dance.
Flying Down to Rio - Carioca dance and more
Hairspray featuring line dance
Never on Sunday - scenes of Greek line and solo dancing.
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure: Pee-wee goes to a bar and does the Peewee dance while listening to Tequila by The Champs.
Scent of a Woman - Al Pacino as blind Colonel dances Argentine Tango.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), Rudolph Valentino dancing Tango
The Sound of Music - has a scene of Ländler danced; however choreographed in an American ballroom way, rather than in an authentic Austrian folk way.
Urban Cowboy featuring John Travolta
Zorba the Greek - the origin of Sirtaki.
A Day at the Races - (1937) featuring lindy hop and Frankie Manning
Hellzapoppin' - (1941), a mediocre film remembered for its lindy hop scenes and Frankie Manning dance performances
After Seben - short film (1929, Paramount Famous Lasky Corp. Director: S. J. Kaufman) starring George Snowden and featuring Breakaway
Keep Punchin' - (1938) featuring Frankie Manning in the Big Apple sequence
Cottontail (aka Hot Chocolates) - 1941 Soundie featuring the Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, including Frankie Manning and lindy hop


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Movies, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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