Center Stage proves that it’s hard to make a bad dance movie. Good dancing lends itself to film so well that even the most hackneyed plot can be the foundation of a great movie. Center Stage follows the lives of several young ballet dancers at a prestigious New York conservatory. The characters in the film are faced with ego problems, eating disorders, and a dangerously competitive atmosphere. Their stories intertwine with all the melodrama of a bad soap opera. And yet, every time there is a dance scene, the whole thing makes visceral sense, and the movie is fun again. Center Stage is definitely not for all tastes, but if you can give it a break, you will enjoy it.
published November 15, 2000