If you aren't out dancing yourself, then take time to see dance movies on the big and small screens near you. Love ballet? There's Matthew Bourne on PBS Friday night. Tap and hip hop enthusiasts and K-pop fans, enjoy the dance romance "Make Your Move" that opens today. Want to see someone else's comedic but inspirational journey into the world of salsa? Try "Cuban Fury."
Matthew Bourne is today's main practitioner of fractured fairy tales and his vampire-infused fairy tale provides a "Sleeping Beauty" with a new life and death while Lez Brotherston has designed and produced gorgeous costumes that are a steampunk vampire fans cosplay dream. This isn't love at first kiss, but a childhood romance for the ages where Princess Aurora avoidis the snobbish prejudices of Edwardian aristocracy by a 100 year slumber into more liberal times. Her love, a commoner working on her father's estate, sacrifices his soul for eternal life and a chance to be with his beloved.
"Great Performances: Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty" premieres on PBS Friday, 18 April 2014 at 9 p.m. Check local listings.
The salsa tale on the silver screen, "Cuban Fury," features a bad guy (Chris O'Dowd) womanizer Drew competing with a former salsa sensation turned boring nobody Bruce competing for the same woman, Julia (Rashida Jones). Bruce was a junior salsa competitor who along with his sister was hoping to capture the nationals when a run in with bullies while wearing a hot pink sequined and spandex dance shirt caused him to give up dancing. O'Dowd is truly hissable as the villain who looks like a sure thing to sweep his boss off of her feet, but this is a dance movie and we know that Bruce now and adult and played by the heavy-set Nick Frost will win. Frost doesn't slim down, but he does perform with passion. This is decidedly from a man's point of view and there's a lot of locker room humor.
This British comedy might also show you just how different the salsa scene is in the United Kingdom compared to Southern California. That might actually make it funnier for Los Angelenos.
"Cuban Fury" is currently playing in local theaters.
Opening today in the United States is Derek Hough's first lead role in a feature film, "Make Your Move." Teamed with K-pop princess as a Japanese national of Korean descent named Aya, Hough plays Donny, a guy just out of jail and on parole who skips out of Louisiana to try and find tap dance opportunities in New York where his foster brother Nick (Wesley Jonathan) runs a club called Static. Nick was partners with Aya's older brother Kaz (Will Yun Lee), but they had a falling out engineered by Wall Street hotshot Michael (Jefferson Brown) who has yellow fever for Aya. In this Romeo from the wrong side of the street and Juliet from Japan story, no dead bodies haunt the two lovers and there is a happy ending and a lot of dancing--in this case hip-hop, hip-hop influenced tap dancing, tap dancing with taiko drum playing and some lyrical hip-hop as you might expect from the choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo.
Sources say that Hough had training previously in tap dancing and his moves are sharp, his turns and spins effortless and his lines dynamic. He pairs well with BoA, but is the better dancer. You don't go to a dance movie for the script. Go to see Hough's dancing and hope that he finds a musical to suit his talents.
"Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty" has the best story lines and no actual spoken lines to worry about. If you must choose, this is the best of the three. "Cuban Fury" is fun and has a better script and funny lines and moments, but "Make Your Move" has better dance sequences. Make your choice and choose them all.