FILM REVIEW: DANCE ACADEMY

Dance Academy, the feature film continues the story of global phenomenon and incredibly successful two-time Emmy nominated Australian television series of the same name.

dance+academy+posterThe series saw a group of teenagers through the ups-and-downs of elite dance training at the National Academy of Dance, while the film picks up eighteen months after the television series finale.

The characters have now moved on from the Academy and are living very different lives, with former ballet student, Tara (Xenia Goodwin), who was destined to become one of the top dancers of her generation before a devastating injury crippled her career, trying to move on and embrace life as a university student.

Unable to let go of her dream to dance professionally and haunted by the night she was injured, Tara leaves her life and partner behind in Sydney, and heads to New York to prove to the ballet world and to herself that she still has what it takes.

Her venture doesn’t go as planned and she is forced to discover where she truly belongs – somewhere she never would have expected.

The film is true to the TV series with its own plot and identity, without being an abridged version of the small screen episodes, or just a spin-off.

Setting the film partly in Sydney, New York and Texas gives the film a feel of adventure and ambition, but you’re still very much at home with your favourite characters.

While big name actors like Miranda Otto were significantly underused, the performances of Tara (Xenia Goodwin), Ben (Thomas Lacey) and Kat (Alicia Banit) were admirable.

Dance Academy is a must-see for fans of the series as it is an excellent follow on from the popular show and will not disappoint.

Reviewed by Libby Parker