by Erik Sean McGiven on Oct 03, 2010
Street dance is an umbrella term used to describe dance
styles that evolved outside of dance studios in spaces such as parks, streets,
and open spaces. It's often
improvisational and social in nature encouraging interaction and contact with
spectators and other dancers.
"StreetDance 3D" fulfills this definition to a tee
accept it adds a twist. After troupe leader Jay's (Ukweli Roach) abrupt
departure Carly (Nichola Burley) is left in charge and their prospects unravel
rapidly. Locked out of their rehearsal
space in crowded London
the dance crew is forced to work with ballet trainees in a posh dance school in
return for free rehearsal space. The
manager of the school, Charlotte Rampling, finds that her ballet students lack
intensity and energy and that the by incorporating street dancing into their
repertoire these qualities might be obtained.
The plot is essentially a version of the Step Up films where
street dancer shake-up the lives of stuck-up ballet students. It's tutus vs. the hoodies in face-offs at
the barre. Soon their antagonism turns
to mutual respect and romantic alliances.
Carly eyes the buff ballet boy Tomas (Richard Winsor) and they soon
become an item.
While the ballet and street dancers finally come together
there are formable obstacles to their winning the finals. They include their archival The Surge (played
Got Talent stars Flawless). Then there's
the conflict of ballet auditions and street dance finals being scheduled for
the same day. Choices have to be
While the plot is a bit cliché the dance numbers are the
real stars of this film. Their fast
moving vibrancy hides story flaws yet the cliffhanger at the end makes the
journey truly worth while. Young George
Sampson, BGT 2008 teen winner, plays a pivotal role in the final scenes making
for a resolution that's the best of all worlds
This is a most likeable film but some scenes seemed to be
set up solely to exploit the 3D effects.
They divert one from the story, the dancers, and the connections between
them. These 3D effects became a
distraction and rather than appreciating the show stopping performances one
finds one's self dodging and ducking objects flying out from the screen. While the 3D effects gave depth to the
groupings as well as the scenic skylines of London, the film might have been better
served had the staging concentrated more on the dance and less on obtaining
irrelevant 3D effects.
Production credits are first rate with a vivid palette of
colorful scenes and locations. Sound
tracks are an impressive mix of classical and rock, and the final dance number
hits all the right cylinders. I
especially liked the contrast of the two top competing contenders; the
disciplined precision of Flawless verses the free flowing imagination of
Carly's group. It’s contest of
ideologies, that of a dictatorship vs. democracy.
This film will be a big hit with kids and nicely taps into
the growing street dance rage. The 3D
sequences are targeted more for the video game generation with a lot of screen
motion and the simple them vs. us plotting makes it easier to partake of the
"StreetDance 3D" stars Nichola Burley, Richard Winsor,
Charlotte Rampling, Ukweli Roach, Frank Harper, George Sampson, Rachel McDowall
and Eleanor Bron. Cinematography, Sam
McCurdy; Editor, Tim Murrel; Production Designer, Richard Bullock; Casting,
Gary Davy; Costumes, Andrew Cox; Make Up, Darren Evans, Production Manger,
Allison Banks; Line Producer, Jim Spencer; Executive Producers, Amab Banerii,
Paula Jaifon, Christine Langan & Rupert Preston; Producers, Allan Niblo
& James Richardson; Written by Jane English; Directed by Max Giwa and Dania
Pasquini; Produced by Vertigo Films; Runtime 96 minutes.