62 user 39 critic

Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000)

A non-glamorous portrayal of the lives of people who make their living at a strip club.


Michael Radford


Michael Radford (screenplay), David Linter (screenplay)

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlotte Ayanna ... Jessie
Kristin Bauer van Straten ... Nico (as Kristin Bauer)
W. Earl Brown ... Bobby
Daryl Hannah ... Angel
Chris Hogan ... Dennis
Sheila Kelley ... Stormy
Elias Koteas ... Sully
Vladimir Mashkov ... Sacha
Sandra Oh ... Jasmine
Rodney Rowland ... Charlie
Jennifer Tilly ... Jo
Robert Wisdom ... Eddie
David Amos David Amos ... Dave
Carolyne Aycaguer Carolyne Aycaguer ... Sophie
R.C. Bates R.C. Bates ... Jimmy (as RC Bates)


Angel is a dancer wishing to adopt a child. Stormy is a dancer with a secret with her brother Sully. Jasmine is a poetess who falls in love with Dennis. Jo is a dancer who became pregnant and Jessie is a woman fighting to survive in Hollywood. The link between them is the fact that they dance at Blue Iguana, a strip-club managed by Eddie. Their personal dramas are the theme of this movie. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


from the director of Il Postino See more »


Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive sexual content/nudity, language, some drug content and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Russian

Release Date:

11 October 2001 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Historias de la noche See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,181, 21 October 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$30,181, 21 October 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The poem Jasmine (Sandra Oh) reads near the end of the film was part of an actual poem written by Canadian poet Evelyn Lau, whom Sandra Oh portrayed in The Diary of Evelyn Lau (1994). See more »


The guitar from the music store is incorrectly stated to be a Gibson Les Paul. See more »


Jasmine: [about her poetry] It's about the things inside you.
Nico: Things inside *you*.
See more »

Alternate Versions

On the DVD commentary Michael Radford says there are enough deleted scenes to make 10 entire different versions of the whole movie. Each scene was re-filmed over 12 times as Dancing at the Blue Iguana was improvised and Michael got the actors to try each scene with alternate dialogue several times until the actors had no ideas left. However, only a select few deleted scenes/alternate takes are included on the DVD. See more »


References The Munsters (1964) See more »


World Keeps Spinning
Written by Elyse Schuiller, Jim Watson, Ida Budin
Performed by Courtesy of Porkpie
Courtesy of Shake-A-Leg Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Improv at its best!
4 December 2002 | by lambiepie-2See all my reviews

It is my understanding that the most of this project was done via improvisation which would explain for its peaks and drops. I would imagine that filming a project based on improv is difficult but at times this cast of actors make it look scripted. At best, Jennifer Tilly shows one how its done, at worse, you wish Darryl Hannah had a script.

Here you are presented a few days in the lives of your regular ordinary everyday working strippers/dance gals at a club that is..where else but the Los Angeles San Fernando Valley. You get it all, the drugs, the cat fights, the sex and the overall portrayal that its just a job, a job that is like any other with all the same problems. The five main characters do it well. Jennifer Tilly is the best, Sandra Oh runs a very close second. I was a tad disappointed in Shelia Kelley's character, but Shelia did great with what she had to work with, and I felt the same with little Charolotte Ayanna's character portrayal as well. But Darryl Hannah, who's character was pretty developed more than all the others was pretty sad to watch under this method of outlined improv. The owners of the club were good as well with what they were handed, I just wish I could have known more about them and what made them tick to be at this club. One of the best scenes that makes this kind of dramatic acting inprov filming/work come together is the end with the stripper/writer character played by Sandra Oh and the overglorified porno star who danced for the evening played by Kristin Bauer.

This film had a few small holes here and there to me, but I really enjoyed watching the actresses and actors work with this kind of project on this kind of level..and if you watch some scenes real close, you can see that a few of the actresses and actors were surprised at the lines coming out of other actresses mouths which is what I believe this project was all about. Only on that level, I grant this film of a peek into the lives of these women -- as an overall success and I hope that other film makers explore the genre. It's brings alot of realism in a fictional background.

A must see for anyone studying acting, a rare kinda find for us the regular film viewer, and for those who want to turn in to their cable sets in the middle of the night and watch a bunch of girls strip and dance -- well, that's there too, but Michael Radford lets you know, that is not what is important.

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