the last review says that a dancer wouldn't like this movie. well, i am a dancer, and i did like it.
the last reviewer also said that the weight problem in dance is exaggerated. maybe. i know mostly modern, afro, folk, and jazz dancers who are very healthy. ballerinas, i think, are generally not so well. my college girlfriend could have played alyssa, and she was eating disordered. the best ballerina i have ever seen (and i have been around dance at the highest levels for twenty years) once told me that her ballet school had "unhealthy" attitudes toward weight. she also said that her parents had made her go to counseling. shame on me, but i hadn't put two and two together until i saw this movie. kimberly mccullough looked just like her, too.
it's quite obvious that this movie was produced primarily to do some social engineering. if it happens to entertain some non-dancers, or contain imagery that is appealing to sensitive people, that's fine. but that's not the point. this movie has a very specific target population. i felt that the director did a good job including just the kind of dance scenes that would be irresistible to ballerinas. in fact, the final dance performance, which nearly made me barf with its excessive classicism, is just the kind of fluff that i can see ballerinas gluing their eyes to.
every ballerina i know would have a negative reaction to the message in the movie, and would try to find some kind of artistic fault, or enumerate the personal flaws of kimberly mccullough's character. maybe her dance wasn't to-die-for, or maybe her pretty dancemagazine face wasn't perfectly properly framed by her trendy chop cut. every ballerina i know would dismiss the weight-compulsion theme as overblown, unnecessary, or unrealistic. every ballerina i know would try to defend ballet, saying it's not ballet's problem. that, my little dears, is exactly the problem.
so it's the pinnacle of 90's manipulative, message-laden tv-melodrama? respect and congratulations are owed everyone involved in this film. it's a tear jerker that doesn't play fair because in this battle for little girls' hearts, all's fair in love and war, and the ends justify the means.
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