Reviewed by: Kristina James
|Featuring:||Peter Gallagher, Amanda Schull, Donna Murphy, Ilia Kulik, Susan May Pratt|
“Center Stage” is a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making a ballerina in the final stages. It depicts the fairy tale ballerina’s world as the hard life it really is. And it is also your typical teen soap opera and dance movie.
The story revolves around several young dancers, Jody Sawyer (Amanda Schull) and her roommates Eva Rodriguez (ZOË SALDANA) and Maureen Cummings (SUSAN MAY PRATT) who have all auditioned for the famous American Ballet Company, and now have to compete against each other for the coveted positions in the company. Three men were also selected along with the three girls, Erik (SHAKIEM EVANS), Charlie (SASCHA RADETSKY) and Sergei (ILIA KULIK).
Jonathan Reeves (Peter Gallagher) is the cold artistic director of the company and the dancers try to get on his good side and that of Cooper (ETHAN STIEFEL), the company’s young choreographer. The dancers have to compete for lead roles in an upcoming ballet that will decide their dancing career. Jody is overlooked as she does not have the right body or technique, but she lands a lead role in a piece Cooper is choreographing. It may be a mere coincidence, but she slept with him a few nights before. Eva is a very talented dancer, but because of a bad attitude towards the teachers, has ruined her chances of any good roles at all. It is well known Maureen will get the lead role as she is the best, and her mother is very determined to see her daughter as the star. There are other topics of conflict and sadness during the movie which are all very real in the ballet world.
Areas for concern: Personally I enjoyed the movie, as I am a ballet dancer and I teach at a Christian ballet school that I own. But because of the sexual scenes and adult content I would not want any of my students to see it, nor have I told them I have seen it, as I don’t want them going home and saying that Miss Kristina saw it. There are several sexual dance scenes during a performance and at a bar/club. During the performance the girls remove one costume to reveal a little black bikini top and bottoms, and the dancing gets more suggestive. Jody sleeps with Cooper, although nothing is shown, they kiss, eventually remove their shirts, and are later seen under the sheets. The students also go to a bar/club where there is very suggestive dancing, beer drinking and smoking going on. There is one use of the “f” word, and several other of the “s” word. Some sexual slang is used, and quite a few uses of God, Jesus, or other uses of the Lord’s name incorrectly. One of the male dancers is gay, but nothing is developed around it, except for a comment about him being interested in another dancer, who just got dumped by his girlfriend.
If you are a fan of ballet, you may enjoy this movie, but it would have been much better if the objectionable material was edited out altogether.