6.7/10
17,155
209 user 70 critic

Center Stage (2000)

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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.

Director:

Nicholas Hytner

Writer:

Carol Heikkinen
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Popularity
4,642 ( 412)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amanda Schull ... Jody
Christine Dunham Christine Dunham ... Audition Teacher
Stephen Stout Stephen Stout ... Mr. Sawyer
Maryann Plunkett ... Mrs. Sawyer
Laura Hicks Laura Hicks ... Nervous Mother
Barbara Caruso Barbara Caruso ... ABA Scout
Jeff Hayenga Jeff Hayenga ... ABA Scout (as Jeffrey Hayenga)
Zoe Saldana ... Eva (as Zoë Saldana)
Victor Anthony ... Thomas
Karen Shallo Karen Shallo ... Mother at Audition
Carlo Alban ... Eva's Friend
Giselle Daly Giselle Daly ... Eva's Friend
Ethan Stiefel ... Cooper
Susan May Pratt ... Maureen
Shakiem Evans 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 May 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

City Ballet See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$29,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,604,621, 14 May 2000, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$17,174,870, 10 September 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the actors dance in real life just like their characters. See more »

Goofs

When the Jonathan Reeves and Cooper are chatting in the theater, you see Eric coming down from the jump solidly in the background. In the next instant he has fallen over and injured his ankle. His landing from the jump shows no imbalance that would lead to an injury. See more »

Quotes

Charlie: Are you asking me out?
Jody: Well yeah. Are you saying yes?
Charlie: I guess so. Yeah.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Murder Pact (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

A Girl Can Dream
Written by Steve Skinner, Nina Ossoff and Jimmy Santis
Performed by P.Y.T.
Courtesy of Epic Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Guilty pleasure
5 February 2005 | by segacsSee all my reviews

Come on, I know it's not cool to admit to liking what is essentially a cheesy teen flick. But go ahead, say it aloud - this is a fun movie! Sappy, badly acted, full of exaggerated clichés and one-liner groaners, Center Stage nevertheless has a kind of charm to it. No, it's not an Oscar contender or a change-your-life kind of movie. This is pure escapism, plain and simple. But - say it together with me now - there's nothing wrong with that.

Amanda Schull plays Jody, a wannabe ballet dancer who gets accepted to the prestigious American Ballet Academy. The movie follows her life and that of her friends and fellow students, who fall into the predictable stereotypes. There's Eva (Zoe Saldana), the city kid with attitude. There's Maureen (Susan May Pratt), the teacher's pet. There's Erik (Shakiem Evans), the gay guy. There's Cooper (Ethan Stiefel), the bad-boy celebrity who's still in love with the director's wife ballerina. There's Charlie (Sascha Radetsky), the perfect good guy. One has the obnoxious stage mom. Another has the talent but not the drive. A third has the drive but not the talent. Etcetera. And the lives of the students take the typical high school romantic twists and turns, as the students compete for one of three spots in the company by the end of the year, and also in the various love triangles between the cast. There are few surprises here.

None of the cast is much of an actor - Schull is particularly uneven - and the plot has a sort of predictability to it that make eyes roll.

So why the 8/10? Well, because despite all this, Center Stage is a great amount of fun - mostly due to the dancing.

By casting real dancers in a lot of the roles, Center Stage lends an air of credibility to the lavishly filmed dance sequences, clearly done with love by such talents as world-leading dancers Julie Kent and Ethan Stiefel (widely considered to be one of the best ballet dancers in the world) as well as relatively new talents such as Amanda Schull. Some of the actors have body doubles dancing for them, such as Zoe Saldana - who had some dance training but not at the level required by the film. But overall, the dance scenes are the best part of the movie, especially Cooper's ballet at the end.

Some movies are great because they change your life or make you think. Center Stage is great because it's like candy - full of saccharine sugar and empty calories, but eminently watchable over and over again. Sometimes movies don't have to be socially relevant or intellectually stimulating to be good. Sometimes, escapism is OK too.


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