Some films feature recognizable dance forms, demonstrating them, shedding light on their origin, or being the base of a plot.[note 1]

Fred Astaire's and Gene Kelly's filmographies may significantly contribute to these lists.

List of films with a plot based on dance edit

Ballet edit

Poster for 'The Red Shoes' (1948)
  • The Red Shoes (1948) - Film classic with dance editing far ahead of its time. Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, starring Moira Shearer. Intricately weaving backstage life with the thrill of performance, this film centers on the dilemma of a young ballerina torn between the composer who loves her and the impresario determined to fashion her into a great dancer. 134 min, and based loosely on the fairytale.
  • The Tales of Hoffmann (1951) - Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, starring Moira Shearer and Ludmilla Tchérina. Film version of Jacques Offenbach's opera but making full use of film techniques and special effects. Not just a film of a stage production.
  • An American in Paris (1951) - Oscar-winning musical based on George Gershwin's compositions starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.
  • Suspiria (1977) - A legendary horror film directed by Italian Dario Argento where a new student at a dance academy/school for girls experiences strange goings on.
  • The Turning Point (1977) - The story of two women whose lives are dedicated to ballet. Deedee left her promising dance career to become a wife and mother and now runs a ballet school in Oklahoma. Emma stayed with a company and became a star though her time is nearly past. Both want what the other has and reflects back on missed chances as they are brought together again through Deedee's daughter who joins the company. Starring: Shirley MacLaine, Anne Bancroft, Tom Skerrit, Anthony Zerbe, Leslie Browne, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Alexandra Danilova.
  • White Nights (1985) - movie starring Mikhail Baryshnikov about a Russian dancer who wants to defect.
  • Dancers (1987) - movie starring Mikhail Baryshnikov about a ballet company.
  • Billy Elliot (2000)
  • Center Stage (2000) - movie about the students of the American Ballet Academy.
  • Save the Last Dance (2001) - movie starring Julia Stiles as a girl who wants to study as a professional dancer.
  • Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary (2002) - A silent movie directed by Guy Maddin, a ballet interpretation of Dracula.
  • The Company (2003) - An inside look at the world of ballet. With the complete cooperation of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Robert Altman follows the stories of the dancers, whose professional and personal lives grow impossibly close, as they cope with the demands of a life in the ballet. Neve Campbell plays a gifted but conflicted company member on the verge of becoming a principal dancer at a fictional Chicago troupe, with Malcolm McDowell playing the company's co-founder and artistic director, considered one of America's most exciting choreographers. James Franco plays Campbell's boyfriend and one of the few characters not involved in the world of dance.
  • Wishing Stairs (2003) - South Korean horror film set in an all-girls art school, in which two of the main characters are competing ballet students.
  • Flying Boys (2004) - South Korean film about a group of high school seniors who are reluctantly pressured into joining a ballet class.
  • Dancing with Time (2007) - Four dancers, nearing their eighties, take up the challenge of Heike Hennig to return to the stage in Leipzig's opera house.
  • Ballet Shoes (film) (2007) - Three adopted sisters, Pauline, Petrova and Posy Fossil where each has a different talent: acting, machinery and ballet.
  • Center Stage: Turn It Up (2008) - Kate Parker auditions for the American Ballet Academy but she doesn't get a place. She starts work in a trendy hip-hop club and teams up with a former hockey player as she continues to perfect her dance skills. This movie isn't really a sequel to 'Center Stage' [2000] as there's no continuation or development of the original film's story line, although a couple of the characters (dance teachers played by Peter Gallagher and Ethan Stiefel) from the first movie reappear in this one.
  • Mao's Last Dancer (film) (2009) - Based on the autobiography of Chinese dancer Li Cunxin, this movie tells the story of his selection from an impoverished rural village to train at Madame Mao's Beijing Dance Academy. The film then follows Li as he travels to the US and is confronted with cultural differences (East/West; Communist/capitalist) and his desire to be true to his artistic soul. Directed by Bruce Beresford.
  • Black Swan (film) (2010)
  • Tutu Much (2010) - Traces the stories of 9 young girls vying for a place in the prestigious Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Follows each girl as she participates in a month-long summer intensive that serves as an audition for the school.
  • Dance Academy (2010) - Fifteen-year-old Tara Webster has grown up on a farm in country Australia and has dreamed of being a dancer ever since she was a little girl. When she makes it into the National Academy of Dance - the best school in the country - she is sure her life is about to be spectacular. What Tara doesn't realize is how far behind she is in her training, and that there's a whole lot more to surviving the Academy than just dancing...
  • Bunheads (2012) After impulsively marrying a man, a Las Vegas showgirl winds up teaching ballet alongside her new mother-in-law in the small coastal town of Paradise, California.
  • First Position (2012) - Follow dancers training for the Youth America Grand Prix, one of the world's most prestigious ballet competitions. The stakes are high: their performances will determine the success or failure of the young dancers' dreams.

Ballroom edit

Hip Hop/Street edit

Swing edit

With the Whiteys Lindy Hoppers

Modern films

Tango edit

Rudolph Valentino dancing the tango in 'Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse', a movie that popularized the dance internationally.

Other edit

Gene Kelly in Singin' In The Rain

List of films with memorable dance scenes edit

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ This article is not about Dance film or Dance for camera which are separate genres. It is also not about Musical films, although they often contain a significant amount of dancing. However, they are a specific form of art in itself, therefore their listings generally pertain to the articles specifically related to the topic of musicals. This by no means prevents musicals from being included here, but they are required to meet the outlined criteria.

References edit