Dance movies: A Chorus Line

We all love movies. And dancers especially love dance movies. Most of them touch on the basic stuff (cue the ugly ballerina foot shot). We dancers ourselves all laugh and nod and say, ‘ah yes, there we go, we all know that!’ All dance movies have some degree of truth to them, among all the Hollywood drama.

If you want a pretty honest look at the reality of dance, watch A Chorus Line. (If you can watch the musical live, even better, but the movie version is good too.) Of course, the movie looks more into short contracted dancers, that work for musicals in chorus lines as backup dancers. But, there is still truth in it for ballet dancers.

I won’t spoil the whole movie for you, but some of my favorite lines I feel are worth a mention:

  • Do you want to know all the wonderful and exciting things? Or do you want the truth?
  • Everything was beautiful at the ballet
  • It wasn’t paradise, but it was home
  • Give me somebody to dance for, give me somebody to show. Let me wake up in the morning to find I have somewhere exciting to go!
  • If I stop dancing? Real life, I guess.

But its the way the movie ends that really gets me. Don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil it! But the movie just ends. It doesn’t have a nice clean wrap up, like: this is what happened. And I realize this is true of other movies as well. But the way it happens in A Chorus Line, for me as a dancer, really hits home. Because the truth is? Just as in life, the show goes on, the dance goes on. They find another dancer. Sometimes that dancer is you, and sometimes it isn’t.

-Your Friendly Neighborhood Ballerina-to-Be


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