It's summertime, the perfect opportunity to get together with your dance buddies for a ballet movie night! For your convenience, we've put together a list of some of our favorite Hollywood dance films, along with info on where to stream them. (Some are even available for free!) So whether you're planning a Center Stage party, in need of a Mikhail Baryshnikov fix or have yet to see The Red Shoes, get ready for some serious ballet binging.
Paris Opéra Ballet étoile Dorothée Gilbert. Photo by Kyle Froman for Pointe.
You might be used to throwing on a leotard, tights and warm-ups each day, but now it's summer, and your schedule is different. Whether you're trying to dress to impress for a day off at your intensive or you're packing for a much-needed vacation during your company's summer break, the idea of wearing "real clothes" can leave you feeling paralyzed. Never fear! We've pulled some of our favorite dancers' street styles from past issues of Pointe to give you the summer style inspiration that you're looking for.
Keenan Kampa in High Strung. Courtesy Riviera Films.
In 2012, Keenan Kampa made history as the first American to join Russia's Mariinsky Ballet. While technically a coryphée, she danced both soloist and principal roles. But in 2014, the Vaganova Academy graduate made a bold move—she quit the company to pursue an acting career. Her new movie,
High Strung, opens in theaters April 8. Kampa stars as Ruby, an aspiring ballerina who, along with a talented violinist and hip-hop crew, enters a prestigious scholarship competition. She spoke with Pointe about making the film, leaving the Mariinsky and her new life in L.A.
A long time ago, we heard about a new dance movie in the works starring former Mariinsky Ballet dancer (and style icon) Keenan Kampa. But it was unclear when we’d get to see Kampa make her acting debut. Now we can happily confirm that High Strung will hit U.S. theaters on April 8.
The story sounds like a blend of Step Up, Center Stage and pretty much every other guilty pleasure dance movie you love (come on, admit it). I’m talking drama, romance and high-impact dance scenes. Kampa plays Ruby, a ballet dancer who moves from the Midwest with a scholarship to attend a demanding New York performing arts school. There, she meets Johnnie, an aspiring musician from Britain who's earning money by playing his violin on subway platforms. Despite their different backgrounds, the two are brought together by their shared artistic ambitions when they join forces with a hip-hop crew for a competition that could help both of them reach their goals.
The best part? The cast is full of talented dancers, including Kampa, former Scottish Ballet dancer Sonoya Mizuno and hip-hoppers Ian Eastwood and Comfort Fedoke. With an all-star group like this, we have high hopes that the movie will prove to be worth the wait—even if it's just for the dance scenes. Check out the trailer below.
Keenan Kampa counts Alexa Chung and Iris Apfel among her fashion inspirations, but her favorite style icon is someone she considers one of her best friends. “Not to be weird," she says, “but I really loved my grandfather's style. He was this badass marine nuclear physicist, but then also this old Irish man." His oversized button-ups in plaid or denim (“he always liked a front pocket," she adds) have become a staple of her wardrobe. She favors comfortable, flattering pieces that work with her active lifestyle—you'll often find her riding her bike—in neutral tones like black, white or head-to-toe denim. “If I'm going to do a color, I commit to it and do it all," she says. In the studio, loose-fitting layers are her go-to. “I hate when I feel like I can't reach a line fully because of clothing restrictions, and leotards that are too tight," she says, adding that sometimes she'll wear swimsuits instead. “I'm at kind of a different stage than I was a few years ago. I used to go to class with things that were a little bit more fun and flashy. Now it's just things that make me feel good."
We all felt a little defeated when "Bunheads" and "Breaking Pointe" were taken off the air. But news of Starz's "Flesh and Bone" cheered us up a little. And now High Strung, a movie about a musician who meets a ballerina who "changes his world," is in the works. Not much other information has been released about the project, but we do know that its choreographer is Dave Scott, who has been involved in "So You Think You Can Dance" and the Step Up series. Auditions for ballet dancers, ages 18–23, will be held in Los Angeles on Tuesday, March 18.
Last week, we let you know about the Los Angeles auditions for the upcoming dance film High Strung—and got inquiries from a few East Coast dancers who felt left out in the cold. Well, if you missed the L.A. tryout, good news: The film, choreographed by Dave Scott, is holding another ballet audition, this time in New York City. (Looks like they still haven't found a dancer/actress for the lead role of Ruby.) It's coming up soon, too. Click here for more details.
There's a new dance movie in the works: Dave Scott, of the "So You Think You Can Dance" and Step Up families—is choreographing High Strung, a film about a ballet dancer from the Midwest who moves to New York City to attend a prestigious school on scholarship. Who will play that ballet dancer, you ask? None other than the Mariinsky Ballet's stunning Keenan Kampa! Her character, Ruby, falls in love with a hip-hop violinist and the two collaborate with a dance crew (filled with "SYTYCD" and "America's Best Dance Crew" alums) for a high-stakes competition. The film will be released sometime in the summer of 2015.