Coming to DVD from Director X and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is a chance like no other to be “Center Stage: On Pointe.”
The American Ballet Academy led by Jonathan Reeves (Peter Gallagher) is in financial trouble. No long able to stick strictly to ballet, Reeves is challenged to expand and bring in modern and contemporary dance to the Academy. He enlists the help of Charlie (Radetsky), Cooper (Stiefel) and Tommy (Wormald) to find new blood.
A competition is the foundation of their new company at a camp where the dancers will be put to the paces. An unexpected choice is a young woman named Bella Parker (Nicole Munoz). It isn’t easy being the sister of a world renowned ballet dancer and Bella would understand that better than anyone. To give herself a chance she changes her last name.
As the competition begins the egos take center stage keeping Bella feeling out of place. Making friends is also a challenge but when she is paired up with Damon (Barton Cowperthwite) she begins to feel like a dancer in her own right. It doesn’t help when instructor Lorenza (Sarah-Jane Redmond) sees no value in Bella’s dance and doesn’t hesitate to tell her so.
Jealousy ignites as the rumors about Allegra (Maude Green) turn dancer against dancer. Bella tries to remain focused but at the most critical moment of performance day, she must decide on turning a bad situation in the right direction and give up her chance to finally be the moving dancer.
You never go wrong doing the right thing!
Munoz as Bella is a young woman feeling in the shadows of a sister she dearly loves. Excited and surprised at being asked to join the camp of the American Ballet Academy, she knows the situation is tenuous. It is hard to get out of your own head sometimes and Munoz lets her feet give her character immense freedom.
Cowperthwaite as Damon is almost as quiet as Bella until they come together as a pair and open up to one another. I have to say Cowperthwaite moves beautifully and the final performance is stunningly beautiful.
Green as Allegra has, what I think, is the toughest character to deal with. She is caught in the swirl of rumors and no one bothers to discover if they are even true. Instead it becomes almost crushing and Green’s expressiveness is heart breaking at times. It must be said that she is flawless in her dance.
Gallagher as Reeves is put in a tough position to keep the Academy from going under. Fighting it quietly he begins to see the potential of expanding their dance card. Redmond as Lorenza is brutal! She is a purest about ballet and any other form putting a toe on her practice floor keeps her seething. Wormald as Tommy is excited at the opportunity to bring a group together to do something unique. If there is a happy medium it is Tommy!
Other cast include: Kyle Toy as Ivan, Thomas L. Colford as Richard, Kane Nelson as Sam, Ethan Stiefel as Cooper, Ken Kramer as Myron, Lanie McAuley as Wendy, Gabrielle Rose as Beverly and Sascha Radetsky as Charlie.
“Center Stage: On Pointe” is a feel good film that takes the viewer inside the intense nature of dancing. Not just ballet but the opportunity to expand from the narrow view of dancing to the creative and powerful world of music and movement.
Although the film centers on Bella and her journey to prove something to herself, the storyline brings in all aspects and characters in their own right. I really enjoy films about dancing and “Center State: On Pointe” brings two of the most powerful forms of dance together and brings it together beautifully.
The DVD has a running time of ninety-two minutes including the Bonus Materials of Dance Tutorial with Chloe Lukasiak.
In the end – 12 dancers, 6 weeks and one chance!