6.0/10
53
4 user 3 critic

Shadow Dancing (1988)

Jess, a struggling dancer, is trying out for a part in a musical about Medusa. As she practices, the director notices how much she resembles his former lover, a ballerina who died in a ... See full summary »

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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jessica Lilliane
...
Edmund Beaumont
James Kee ...
Paul
Gregory Osborne ...
Philip Crest
...
Anthony Podopolis
Charmion King ...
Grace Meyerhoff
...
Nicole
Kay Tremblay ...
Sophie Beaumont
Brent Carver ...
Alexei
Jennifer Inch ...
Karen
Sandi McCarthy ...
Patricia
Patric A. Creelman ...
Charles
Craig Hempsted ...
Matt
Marcia Plummer ...
Judy
Sergio Trujillo ...
Sam
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Storyline

Jess, a struggling dancer, is trying out for a part in a musical about Medusa. As she practices, the director notices how much she resembles his former lover, a ballerina who died in a bizarre on-stage accident while performing the exact same dance that Jess is doing. As more unexplainable coincidences surround the production, someone or something must be behind them all. But who? Or what? Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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PG
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December 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La bailarina  »

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Soundtracks

Shadow Dance
Written by Marc Jordan and Jay Gruska
Performed by Marc Jordan
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User Reviews

 
Confusing Plot In League With Poorly Composed Script Cripples Would-Be Suspense Melodrama.

Apart from appearances of several members attached to the National Ballet of Canada, augmented by a former principal dancer with that splendid organization, there is very little cause to recommend this below par effort that seems to decompose as it moves along. An aspiring dancer, Jessica (Nadine van der Velde), is in the process of auditioning for a new theatrical company in Toronto that is preparing to stage a modern dance performance to be held within the Beaumont Theatre, an old structure that has been dark for nearly 50 years, following the on-stage death there of ballerina Lili LaNuit, a possible homicide occurring as she was dancing in the role of Medusa, the Gorgon whose tale is a staple of Greek mythology. An injury suffered by another dancer results in a call for young Jessica, but she finds herself duelling with not merely her lack of confidence but, additionally, hostility from the troupe's management and cast. However, after Jessica discovers an abandoned dressing room upstairs at the theatre once utilized by the deceased Lili LaNuit, her personality is supposedly possessed by the latter's spirit, with Lili's flaws and superior skills distributed to the latter-day dancer, whose ability then naturally becomes roughly equal to that of LaNuit, this pleasing others of the troupe and causing her to be fully acceptable as one of the entourage. At this point the scenario turns into a farrago since, with troupe dissension no longer at issue, a viewer must instead concentrate upon the ambiguous activities of an elderly man, Edward Beaumont (Christopher Plummer), who resides with his sister in an apartment above the Theatre that he owns, and who had been a beau of Lili and perhaps her murderer, as well (from jealousy); Jessica's lover Paul, simplistically desiring only to marry her; Jessica's best friend Karen, whose new-born child is consistently transferred from one set of reluctant arms to another; financial backers of the new company, who also were somehow involved with LaNuit's final appearance; a large and vocal parrot that wings about at random, muttering obscurities; a local shopkeeper, also with a romantic history in connection with the LaNuit imbroglio, and so forth. Van der Velde tries very hard to make something of her silly part, and is physically fit here, but she does not move as a dancer moves, and the scornful treatment accorded her by her peers unfortunately seems apt, while her intended personality metamorphosis into a ballerina of the long ago is evidenced in a most mild form, when at all. Telefilm Canada assists with the film's funding, but there is little of merit in it, due to miscasting, tepid direction and playing, and a screenplay burdened with weak dialogue along with confusing transitional sequences.


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