The French dance film that made waves at last year's Venice Film Festival is now stateside: Polina opened in theaters on August 25th. The story follows a young Russian ballerina-in-the-making, played by dancer Anastasia Shevtsova, who's performed with the Mariinsky Ballet.
Today in "How has this not already happened?" news: Benjamin Millepied—former New York City Ballet principal, former artistic director of the Paris Opéra Ballet, founder/director of L.A. Dance Project, and Mr. Natalie Portman—is going to direct and choreograph a big-screen film, Carmen.
American Ballet Theatre principal Misty Copeland is a trailblazer who is changing the game of classical ballet. And now the amazing 32-year-old is sharing her life story with the whole world in a new documentary, out this week: A Ballerina’s Tale.
Directed by Nelson George, the film gives viewers an inside look at the ups and downs Copeland faced on the path to becoming ABT's first black female principal. Confronted with challenges ranging from body shaming to injury, Copeland fought her way to the top ranks of classical ballet by believing in herself and taking chances.
The documentary hits theaters this Wednesday, October 14. And Copeland and George will be hosting a series of Q&As starting on October 14 at the IFC Center and Lincoln Center in New York. To purchase tickets for the Q&As, click here; for a list of theaters playing the film, visit aballerinastale.com.
A year after Hamilton's Broadway opening, people are still buzzing about the show and its famed creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Adding to the excitement, this month PBS will air Hamilton's America, a behind-the-scenes documentary featuring the show's entire journey—from inception to Broadway debut, and everything in between. It'll be a wonderful all-things-Hamilton extravaganza, but here's what you should be most excited about. —Kelly Munzenberger
Back in May, we told you about the forthcoming movie Ballerina, an animated film about a young girl who dreams of joining the Paris Opéra Ballet. Elle Fanning voices the main character, Félicie, and we've heard that none other than Maddie Ziegler will voice another character named Camille.
POB artistic director Aurelie Dupont has been overseeing the film's choreography, and we can totally tell that a professional ballet eye has been watching the animation process. Aside from a few questionable moments (dancing on pointe in street shoes is the main one), Ballerina looks like it accurately portrays ballet.
Of course, it's still an animated movie so that means there's plenty of room for fun. Check out two trailers below!
The movie will be in theaters this Christmas, just in time to treat yourself during Nutcracker season and root for an underdog chasing her ballet dreams!
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A new dance movie, Cuban Fury, is coming to a theater near you this April! I caught a preview of the flick this week, and let me tell you: Some of the salsa dance scenes are hot, hot, hot. The subject matter, however, may be inappropriate for younger viewers.
Cuban Fury tells the story of super-awkward Bruce (played by Nick Frost of The World’s End and Shaun of the Dead), who quit dance lessons after being bullied (read: forced to eat the sequins off his dance costume) as a teenager. Now all grown up, he falls for his attractive boss (played by Rashida Jones of “Parks and Recreation”), who just happens to love salsa dancing, so he decides to brush up his skills. But will he be able to out dance his conniving co-worker Drew (played by Chris O’Dowd of Bridesmaids)?
A standout of the movie is fiery salsa dancer Yanet Fuentes (pictured with Frost above), who has danced with Shakira and Rihanna and on "So You Think You Can Dance" in the UK. You'll catch a glimpse of her steamy dance-off with Bruce in the movie's trailer (at 1:10):
Dancers on the set of Battle of the Year (by Elohim Carrau)
Move over, Step Up: There’s a new dance movie in town. Battle of the Year stars singer Chris Brown and features real b-boy crews from all over the world. Dance Spirit chatted with choreographer Dave Scott (who’s also worked on You Got Served and Step Up 2: The Streets) about the film, which hits theaters September 13.
What is Battle of the Year about?
Dave Scott: It’s based on a documentary from 2007 called Planet B-Boy, and we shot the majority of the footage at the actual Battle of the Year competition in France with crews from around the world.
What was it like working with b-boying newbie Chris Brown?
DS: The movement was hard for Chris, especially since we put together an all-star crew to represent America with dancers from a bunch of amazing crews. Everything dancers can do on their feet, these b-boyers can do upside down on their hands. Chris worked hard to earn the other dancers’ respect as a crew member. And he did more than just dance—he acted his butt off.
Do you think the movie will show viewers a new side of b-boying?
DS: B-boy battles are like the X Games of dance. Yes, b-boying is entertaining—you’ve seen it on commercials and in other films—but seeing the b-boy lifestyle makes you understand why the movements are so aggressive. I want viewers to really respect the style and see it as a sport. This isn’t something you can just get up off the couch and do.