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Center Stage (2000)

PG-13 | | Drama, Music, Romance | 12 May 2000 (USA)
A group of 12 teenagers from various backgrounds enroll at the American Ballet Academy in New York to make it as ballet dancers and each one deals with the problems and stress of training and getting ahead in the world of dance.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jody
Christine Dunham ...
Audition Teacher
Stephen Stout ...
...
Laura Hicks ...
Nervous Mother
Barbara Caruso ...
ABA Scout
Jeff Hayenga ...
ABA Scout (as Jeffrey Hayenga)
...
Eva (as Zoë Saldana)
...
Thomas
Karen Shallo ...
Mother at Audition
...
Eva's Friend
Giselle Daly ...
Eva's Friend
...
...
Maureen
Shakiem Evans ...
Erik (as Shakiem Evens)
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Storyline

The education of three young students, Jodie, Eva and Maureen, as they study at the American Ballet Academy. Life isn't what they expected at the esteemed ABA, and all three face problems along the road. Jodie doesn't have the "ideal" body for dancing, Eva doesn't have the right attitude, and Maureen doesn't have the heart. Along the way, they learn that love can be found in unlikely places, and dancing should be a passion, not a duty. Written by the lexster

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life doesn't hold tryouts.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

12 May 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City Ballet  »

Box Office

Budget:

$29,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,604,621 (USA) (12 May 2000)

Gross:

$17,174,870 (USA) (8 September 2000)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a subplot in which Cooper Nielson, played by Ethan Stiefel, attracts the financial support of a wealthy philanthropic benefactress. A 15 August 2004 New York Times article entitled "How Much Is That Dancer in the Program?" revealed that Stiefel has a very similar real-life sponsorship relationship with a philanthropist named Anka Palitz. See more »

Goofs

During the last ballet sequence that has Jody dressed in red, in the beginning shot her point shoes are pink. In all shots afterward, they are red. This is because she is wearing pink shoes the entire performance leading up to this, and as the camera pans down her body and back up, she is in a new outfit with new hair and makeup. This is a transition to let the audience know without showing it, that there has been an intermission and Jody has changed. See more »

Quotes

Kathleen: You are in big trouble.
Cooper: She's in my ballet.
Kathleen: Oh please. She's a heartbeat away from tattooing your name on her ass.
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Connections

Featured in The Making of 'Center Stage' (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

I Wanna Be With You
Performed by Mandy Moore
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User Reviews

The Dance is the Thing
2 June 2000 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

The title comes from the dancer's center of gravity, which I'm told is used to explain the difference between Russian and American dance to us non-dancers. The Russian tradition is one of capturing and controlling it; the American (since Balanchine, whose work is employed here) is to understand it and let the center `go.' And insofar as it can, that is the point of the drama employed to tie together the dance segments of this film. It is a non-trivial point, underlined by employing not actors in the key roles, but dancers who `act.' These kids are surely endearing.

Two points seem worth mentioning.

The first is the matter of dance in film. Dance is intrinsically cinematic in terms of emotion as motion. But it is too personal, too directly a matter between humans, to convey well to the funnel of film: everything squashed into an image, then given indiscriminately and undifferentiatingly to all viewers. So the cinematographer has a tough choice: what to do with the camera to increase bodily intimacy.

One, unacceptable, extreme is to stay stationary at a few points, another is to choreograph the camera so the viewer is one of the dancers. In this case, at the end at least, we have a happy medium so far as camera involvement. The camera is stationary, but often within the field of dance, and it pans. The staging of the dance was partly to the audience pictured, and partly to us, which is very clever. But it would have been nice to be more adventurous in this regard, especially since there are several choreographers in NYC who are up to the challenge, and cheap!

The second point is a matter of self-reference, which I appreciate almost without qualification when I see it.

The filmmaker gives us a bunch of young actors (actually dancers) who surprise us by effectively showing us their souls in a little love triangle drama. And the matter of their story? A bunch of young dancers who surprise the audience in the film by effectively showing their souls in a little love triangle drama. The film as summarized in the dance is a very intelligent device which I appreciated. And you will too.


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