One of the most important and mesmerizing forms of art, dance, is present everywhere in our daily lives. It has often been said that dance sets one’s soul free. Be it street dancing or contemporary, Hollywood seems to have hit the right notes despite the relatively smaller number of dance movies it has produced. Slowly and steadily, Hollywood is moving towards depicting music and dance as a part and parcel of their films. ‘La La Land’ is a very fine example that took most Americans by surprise. Still, from wonderful documentaries about ballet or tango to heartfelt stories about passion for dancing, here’s a list of really good dance movies on Netflix that you should watch, if you have a penchant for it or if you’d like to pursue it as a career. You can also watch some of these dance movies on Hulu or Amazon Prime.
10. The Tribe (2018)
Originally released as La Tribu, ‘The Tribe’ is the compelling narrative of Fidel, a man who had a fiasco at the office while he was caught having sex with the secretary. A year later, Fidel could be seen on the lookout for his mother Virginia, who had given him for adoption after his birth citing lack of finances. After he finds her in a hotel where she’s working as a janitor. Instead of meeting her in the hotel, he waits in the pub where a brawl ensues, with Fidel leaving in a haste without the meet. Virginia later comes to know of Fidel’s amnesia and how he forgets where he belongs to or where he comes from. Virginia later learns that Fidel has a penchant for street dance and shapes her relationship with Fidel accordingly. ‘The Tribe’ is a simplistic, entertaining watch for those feeling bored in an afternoon.
9. Battle (2018)
One of the very recent dance movies that come to our minds, ‘Battle’ is the tale of Amalie, a hard-working dancer whose father is in penury, forcing her to give up on her dreams. She meets Michael, a street dancer, and is immediately smitten by his ways which are very different from others. Fixated between her newfound life with Michael while dealing with financial troubles, she must struggle and find her way out before its too late. In my humble opinion, ‘Battle’ is one of those underrated, masterful gems that deserve an applaud and is worth your time.
8. White Christmas (1954)
The story of this 1954 musical film is centered around Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, two WWII veterans who now have formed a song-dance group which goes around from one town to another, performing for the locals. One day, the two friends encounter Betty and Judy, two sisters who have also formed a dance group, and perform their acts in nightclubs. Circumstances take these four performers to the Columbia Inn in Pine Tree, where they are to perform for the guests. The two men are surprised to learn that this inn is owned and operated by their commanding officer in the army, General Waverly. The general is rather worried because his inn is not doing business as it should and it is high time that some money comes in to help him run the place. Bob and Phil resolve that with their performance, they will ensure General Waverly earns a decent amount. This film is about the love, joy and cheer of Christmas, where every soul finds something to cherish or be happy for. It is one of the best dance movies on Netflix right now.
7. Feel the Beat (2020)
Written by Michael Armbruster and Shawn Ku, ‘Feel the Beat’ is a family dance comedy-drama movie produced by Susan Cartsonis. The Elissa Down directorial revolves around April Dibrina, a dancer whose dreams of making it to Broadway are shattered after a series of unfortunate incidents. To make matters worse, she is also evicted from her apartment and is forced to return to her hometown in Wisconsin. While shopping one day, she accidentally meets the New Hope dance teacher Miss Barb who is more than eager to invite her to the studio. Once there, April meets a class of dancers, and to her surprise, Miss Barb offers her an opportunity to train them for an upcoming competition. Although she is initially not interested when April learns that it can ultimately prove to be beneficial for her own career, she accepts the offer.
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6. ABCD (Any Body Can Dance) (2013)
The manager of a dance company Jehangir Khan has a fallout with their choreographer Vishnu when the latter quit the company and mulls going back to Chennai to find his roots. When he witnesses a bunch of lads using parkour to evade the police, he sees raw talent in them and decides to train and discipline them for a dancing competition. The group of young lads eventually are divided into rival factions who could even kill each other if it comes to that. The coming together of factions, auditioning, participating and winning the competition once and for all forms the remaining of the narrative of ‘ABCD’. The movie was widely appreciated as it was out of the league from regular Bollywood films and showcased dance steps which are on par with what Hollywood does nowadays.
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5. Step Sisters (2018)
Starring Megalyn Echikunwoke, Lyndon Smith, Eden Sher, and Marque Richardson, ‘Step Sisters’ is a dance comedy movie directed by Charles Stone III. It follows Jamilah, a talented young adult who leads the highly regarded step team of her college while handling the responsibilities of the president of a black sorority and working towards her dream of attending Harvard Law School. So, when things go wrong, and a group of sorority girls tarnishes the school’s public image, the responsibility of setting things straight falls on the shoulder of Jamilah. However, she must not only train these girls on the intricacies of step dancing but also help them prepare for a dance competition.
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4. Yeh Ballet (2020)
Directed and written by Sooni Taraporevala, ‘Yeh Ballet’ is a dance drama film inspired by a short documentary of the same name. The Julian Sands and Achintya Bose-starrer follows two gifted but underprivileged Mumbai teens whose talent for dance is recognized by an eccentric ballet master. Although the boys are eager to work hard and master the dance form, their family disagrees with their choices posing a huge problem in their career path. However, despite the familial and societal pressure, the two teens refuse to give up on their dreams and become immensely dedicated to their goals.
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3. Homecoming: A Film By Beyonce (2019)
Beyonce is one of the most sought-after musical artists in the world today. Her concerts are always sold out no matter which part of the world she performs in. Thus, for her fans to witness a concert film of hers on Netflix is surely a rather exciting affair. To bring the live experience to her fans, Beyonce collaborated with Netflix in making this film which she has written, directed, and also executive produced. ‘Homecoming’ shows us her headlining performance at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, one of the biggest music festivals in the world right now. The best thing about this film is that it not only offers us a look into the performance, but also the tremendous work done backstage which facilitates the smooth running of the show. This is, without any doubt, one of the best concert films you will ever see.
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2. Into the Beat (2020)
Directed by Stefan Westerwelle, ‘Into the Beat’ or ‘Dein Herz tanzt’ is a German teen romantic drama film. The Alexandra Pfeifer and Yalany Marschner-starrer centers upon Katya, a teen ballerina who poses immense dancing talent. With the audition for the New York Ballet Academy about to take place, she stands a great chance of getting a scholarship. However, just a few days before the big audition, Katya meets a group of street dancers who open up a whole new world to her that she never knew existed. It marks the beginning of her self-discovery that poses a life-changing question to the teen ballerina.
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1. Work It (2020)
Featuring talented actors like Sabrina Carpenter, Liza Koshy, Keiynan Lonsdale, and Michelle Buteau, ‘Work It’ is a dance comedy film directed by Laura Terruso. The movie follows Quinn Ackerman, a clumsy and intelligent high schooler who dreams of getting into her late father’s alma mater by excelling as a dancer. Despite being just 18-years old, she achieves near-perfection and plans to participate in a competition. With a squad of misfits, her chances are slim, but Quinn does not let the doubts dictate her choices and vows to achieve her seemingly impossible dreams.
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