It’s the new Aussie dance flick about chasing a dream and Alicia Banit is living hers as she takes her character from small to big screen
Who ever thought an Aussie ABC television show about teenagers chasing a career in ballet would be made into a full-length feature film?
That’s the reality for groundbreaking small-to-bigscreen franchise Dance Academy and Alicia Banit, who plays Kat Karamakov, is pretty proud to be a part of it.
“I’m fairly certain this is the first ever Australian dance film. The fact that Australian film is starting to step into the light and starting to be recognised is so heartwarming because all the crew, the people behind the scenes, they work their butts off,” Alicia says.
The show wrapped up each character’s storyline in 2013, not knowing a happier ending was on the horizon.
“With the TV series ending we’d all said goodbye to our characters so seeing them again was so exciting for us as well,” Alicia says.
“We’re a part of them and they’re a part of us. I think the biggest difference between this and the show was the filming – everything was on a bigger scale. On set there was more time allowed to get things done. A one-minute dance scene on the show we’d spend maybe two hours on, in the film we’d allow 10 hours to get the right shots, angles and beautiful lighting. The dancing looks incredible, but seeing my face on a massive screen is daunting.”
Alicia is confident even people who didn’t follow the show will engage with the film, which picks up where the series left off. “The movie begins with Kat still in America acting. Dancing wasn’t her dream. She was born into a family where everyone is a prima ballerina so she rebelled a lot through that.
“Basically she’s moved forward and left the dancing life behind. By the end of the series she found something that was her own, but you see in the film there are definitely still obstacles.”
Kat is the best friend of the film’s central character, Tara. Tara sustains a spinal injury while dancing and against all medical advice, trains intensely to get back to the level of ballet she was at before the accident.
“Kat, in a big way, is the voice of reason in the movie.
“What Tara is doing is dangerous given her injuries and that she could be heartbroken all over again with a dream that might not happen.
“Kids watching need to know that you don’t have to decide on the rest of your life when you’re young, things are going to change.” Dance Academy is in cinemas now