No steps are missed in Dance Academy
DANCE Academy is the latest in a long line of such inspirational dramas.
Director Jeffrey Walker doesn’t mess around with the proven formula.
It’s set 18 months after the events of Series 3, in which the story’s narrator, Tara Webster (Xenia Goodwin), breaks her back in a freak accident while performing on stage.
Physically, the gifted ballerina has healed. But emotionally she is still struggling to accept life without dance. Tara turns to writing as an alternative means of expression.
Her fellow students are merciless, drawing attention to the melodramatic arc of
the deeply personal story – defeat snatched from the jaws of victory, and her “Edward Cullen-like” boyfriend.
And that’s before Ben’s (Thomas Lacey) leukaemia returns or Kat (Alicia Banit) becomes embroiled in a phone sex scandal.
Walker exhibits admirable restraint in the face of such potentially overwrought romantic tropes, refusing to milk the emotional moments, encouraging his actors to underplay the key scenes.
The characters’ self-deprecating humour also serves the film well.
MOVES: Thomas Lacey, Dena Kaplan and Keiynan Lonsdale in a scene from the movie Dance Academy.