Dance Academy The Movie DVD Reviewed BY Jarred Tito

The Premise
This 2017 movie follows the original dance academy TV show and tracks where the characters are in their lives now.

The Review
An interesting look in to the dancing, show business lives of the ‘ballet scene’ in Sydney. I think the sobering and possibly saving grace of this film is that it takes you to the ‘after [TV] lives’ of the characters and lets you discover what becomes of everyone.  If you are a fan of the Australian television drama you’ll no doubt have moments of nostalgia when you see everyone together again, and moments of sadness when things don’t seem to be working out the way you thought they would. But overall, I felt that the individual story lines are faithful to those of the popular TV drama, but perhaps with an unexpected twist or two. For the uninitiated, don’t expect Australia’s version of ‘Fame’ meets ‘Footloose’, instead maybe a dancer’s version of ‘Friends’ meets ‘Home and Away’ with a trip to the Big Apple to spice things up a little.

There are good dramatic moments throughout, which is expected given ‘Dance Academy’s’ origins, which help the flow and pace of the story. At times, it did seem that we were watching a television soap, which I guess is not all bad, given that the quality of some TV dramas are on the rise and also, I would imagine that the makers of the film wanted to retain some of the original appeal of the small screen.

Tara Webster (Xenia Goodwin), a former student at the National Academy of Dance in Sydney, gets a second chance to make it to the top of the ballet world but puts her life in the balance as she does so. She must find out for herself what is really important in life .... her career or her friends. Kat (Alicia Banit) and Ethan Karamakov (Tim Pocock), Sammy Lieberman (Tom Green), Abigail Armstrong (Dena Kaplan) and Christian Reed (Jordan Rodrigues) are all in the film version and each have to make similar difficult choices as they ride the difficult road to fulfill their life long dreams. Okay, the plot does read a lot like an episode of the American television drama ‘Fame’, and it basically is that except in Australia and with what seems to be a decent film budget.

Tara and the gang have certainly come a long way since they first started out as year tens at high school wanting to break into the professional world of dance until now.      

The Verdict
I would say that ‘Dance Academy; The Movie’, is probably compulsory viewing for those that grew up watching the show. You’ll enjoy catching up with the crew. For those of us that missed out on the excitement on the box, you’ll just have to try your best to, ‘catch up on the goss’, as it unfolds. However, the story is complete and can stand alone.

The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 26th July 2017
Rating: PG
Duration: 101 minutes 
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Miranda Otto, Keiynan Lonsdale, Jordan Rodrigues
Director: Jeffrey Walker (Ali’s Wedding)

The Extras
Isabel Durant (Grace) and Tom Green (Sammy) are not returning.

Movie was announced on April 2016 and filming began in May 2016, and airs in April 16 2017.

Spoil alert: Tom Green who played Sammy will not return for the movie since his character passes away in the TV show.