Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Step Up" or Step Down?

Capturing dance on film is always a tricky endeavor. There are important factors to incorporate in order to please the eye and grasp the entire essence of the movement being performed. You can't zoom in when there's a soloist dancing, because you lose the big picture of his or her movements. You can't pan across a stage or set, because the dancers will run out of frame. So, yes it's certainly a task to film dance, but under the direction of Scott Speer, "Step Up Revolution" succeeded with the filming aspect.  However, the plot seemed so similar to previous "Step Up" films: there's a love interest and there's a controversial fighting basis. The best aspect of this film, was the camera work with great angles of the dancers from which viewers can appreciate and feel connected to the movement. And of course, the dancing and choreography was unbelievably impressive.

Photo credited to moviefanatic.com
Getting into the plot, we are introduced to the infamous, traffic-stopping, high-thrilling energy of the flashmob dance crew known as "the MOB" in the streets of Miami. The opening dance sequence was packed with dynamic hip-hop choreography that included dancing on cars, flipping on stilts, and really utilizing the environment of the street scene. On a personal note, I loved the diversity of dancers used in the scene. I am a supporter of different body types, heights, hair texture, skin color, and more when it comes to dancers. All that matters is how they move, and I was sold by the way the dancers moved. Leader of "the MOB", Sean, played by Ryan Guzman, meets Emily, played by Kathryn McCormick. With her beautiful dance technique and excellent training, she strives to become a professional dancer but seems to lack the extra character and drive the director of the company she wants to join expects from her. Emily's father threatens to destroy the historic neighborhood for his hotel expansion and ultimately displace thousands of people. Emily teams up with "the MOB" to voice their disagreement against her father through the means of dance. Without giving away the ending of the film, I will simply say, the plot is very predictable and is jam-packed with diverse dance sequences: from hip-hop, to contemporary, to tutting and locking. And along with great dancers came familiar faces throughout the film.

There were cameos by Mia Michaels, Stephen "Twitch" Boss and of course Kathryn McCormick from "So You Think You Can Dance", Adam Sevani, and choreographer/dancer Luam Keflezgy. It was great to see so many familiar faces of the dance world in one film! I could not help but smile at every familiar face I saw. Overall, it was a pretty good film with a lot of great dance flare. Kudos to choreographers: Christopher Scott, Jamal Sims, Chuck Maldonado, and Travis Wall for capturing the spirit of dance and life on film. Am I hoping there will be another "Step Up" film? Not at all, but these dancers are greatly talented and did a superb job with the film. I will leave with this statement: It may be time for "Step Up" to just "step down".


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