When I was a kid, I studied ballet at a local dance school and performed in many recitals. I loved the graceful moves, the strict rules, the French names for everything and the beautiful costumes.
Trophies lined my shelves, I had pictures of myself en pointe, and somewhere there exists home movies of my solo routines.
Even as an adult, no matter what city I live in, I always find a place to take a ballet class now and then. I long for the perfect dancer’s body. I must own every ballet workout video on the market.
There are certain movies about ballet that I enjoy watching every time they are on television.
Here are scenes from my favorite movies about ballet in hopes that they will inspire you to watch them, too.
The Turning Point
The ultimate ballet movie with the best acting and most realistic dancing. Starring Anne Bancroft, Shirley MacLaine, and Leslie Browne with Mikhail Baryshnikov in a supporting role. Nominated for 11 Oscars.
(The music doesn’t match the footage. I recommend you mute it.)
A group of students study at a prestigious New York ballet academy and vie for spots in its elite company. This movie was not going to win any acting awards, but the dance sequences are fun, the cast is charming, and it’s a good behind-the-scenes look at the hard work and commitment that goes into a career in dance.
Set during the Miner’s Strike of 1980’s England, a poor, young boy wants to study dance instead of take boxing lessons. Needless to say, his hard-as-nails Dad and brother do not understand. Jamie Bell should have won as Oscar. In this sequence, Billy expresses his anger and frustration through dance. It’s pure genious.
Neve Campbell worked her butt off, quite literally, to get this movie made. Unfortunately, it was nearly ruined by director Robert Altman. There is absolutely no plot but the dance sequences are beautiful. Here is Neve Campbell performing on an outdoor stage during a storm.
What are your favorite dance movies?