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Film review: Dance Academy – The Movie


Four years after the end of the Emmy-nominated ABC television show Dance Academy, the cast has reunited for a drama-filled feature film.

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Dance Academy: The Movie follows Tara (Xenia Goodwin), Abigail (Dena Kaplan), Kat (Alicia Banit), Christian (Jordan Rodrigues), Ollie (Keiynan Lonsdale) and Ben (Thomas Lacey) as they pursue their dreams in the professional world of dance. It also features new faces, such as Miranda Otto as the artistic director of the National Ballet Company.

Directed by Jeffrey Walker (whose previous credits include 2016 film Ali’s Wedding and episodes of TV show Modern Family), the movie picks up 18 months after the television series finale. Tara is recovering from injury as the rest of her friends navigate their new careers (or lack thereof), and the stakes are high as she attempts to test her skills in New York, the city of dreams.

With a bigger budget come more exciting sets and costumes, and there is no doubt that the Dance Academy characters have been vaulted onto the world stage. The choreography is better than ever, especially the ensemble work of the National Ballet Company and a standout duet between Tara and Ollie which is beautiful and touching.

Fans of the television show will also be happy to see much-loved romances reignited and new loves develop.

While it often stretches credibility, the film is a movie for millennials, with familiar Sydney settings and heart-warming characters fighting for their passions.

It is also surprisingly emotional and speaks to the truth of young Australian artists, posing the question: How far should you go and how much should you sacrifice to achieve your dreams?

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