Street dance is an umbrella term used to describe dance styles that evolved outside of dance studios in spaces such as parks, streets, and open spaces. It’s often improvisational and social in nature encouraging interaction and contact with spectators and other dancers.
“StreetDance” fulfills this definition to a tee accept it adds a twist. After troupe leader Jay’s (Ukweli Roach) abrupt departure Carly (Nichola Burley) is left in charge and their prospects unravel rapidly. Locked out of their rehearsal space in crowded London the dance crew is forced to work with ballet trainees in a posh dance school in return for free rehearsal space. The manager of the school, Charlotte Rampling, finds that her ballet students lack intensity and energy and that by incorporating street dancing into their repertoire these qualities might be obtained.
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The plot is essentially a version of the Step Up films where street dancer shake-up the lives of stuck-up ballet students. It’s tutus vs. the hoodies in face-offs at the barre. Soon their antagonism turns to mutual respect and romantic alliances. Carly eyes the buff ballet boy Tomas (Richard Winsor) and they soon become an item.
While the ballet and street dancers finally come together there are formable obstacles to their winning the finals. They include their archival The Surge (played by Britain’s Got Talent stars Flawless). Then there’s the conflict of ballet auditions and street dance finals being scheduled for the same day. Choices have to be made.
While the plot is a bit cliché the dance numbers are the real stars of this film. Their fast-moving vibrancy hides story flaws yet the cliffhanger at the end makes the journey truly worth while. Young George Sampson, BGT 2008 teen winner, plays a pivotal role in the final scenes making for a resolution that’s the best of all worlds
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In theatres, this film was released in 3D. Thus, some scenes are set up solely to exploit the 3D effects. I found they divert one from the story, the dancers, and the connections between them. These 3D effects became a distraction and rather than appreciating the show stopping performances one finds one’s self dodging and ducking objects flying out from the screen. While the 3D effects gave depth to the groupings as techfily well as the scenic skylines of London, the film might have been better served had the staging concentrated more on the dance and less on obtaining irrelevant 3D effects.
Production credits are first-rate with a vivid palette of colorful scenes and locations. Sound tracks are an impressive mix of classical and rock, and the final dance number hits all the right cylinders. techfily I especially liked the contrast of the two top competing contenders; the disciplined precision of Flawless verses the free-flowing imagination of Carly’s group. It’s contest of ideologies, that of a dictatorship vs. democracy.
This film will be a big hit with kids and nicely taps into the growing street dance rage. The 3D sequences are targeted more for the video game generation with a lot of screen motion and the simple them vs. us plotting makes it easier to partake of the visuals.
CREDITS: “StreetDance” stars Nichola Burley, Richard Winsor, Charlotte Rampling, Ukweli Roach, Frank Harper, George Sampson, Rachel McDowall and Eleanor Bron. Cinematography, Sam McCurdy; Editor, Tim Murrel; Production Designer, Richard Bullock; Casting, Gary Davy; Costumes, Andrew Cox; Make Up, Darren Evans, Production Manger, Allison Banks; Line Producer, Jim Spencer; Executive Producers, Amab Banerii, Paula Jaifon, Christine Langan & Rupert Preston; Producers, Allan Niblo & James Richardson; Written by Jane English; Directed by Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini; Produced by Vertigo Films; Runtime 96 minutes. Not Rated. Available on DVD.
In addition to movie reviews, Erik Sean McGiven also writes articles on acting and the entertainment business. Article categories and reviews are listed at