Helmed by German film director Stefan Westerwelle, ‘Into the Beat’ is an inspiring coming of age story of a dancer finding her own style. Partly teenage romance and partly dance drama, the film revolves around teenager Katya, who overcomes all odds to reinstate her talent as a dancer. Dancing comes naturally to Katya as she belongs to a family of acclaimed dancers. But will she choose the traditional ballet dance that she has trained in from early childhood or the freestyle hip-hop that she has recently stumbled upon and has gained considerable mastery over in a short span of time?
While there are pressures from both sides, the path is for her to choose. Intense, energetic, and moving at times, the film manages to give a real makeover to its characters, who remain nuanced and natural. While the film follows many of the teenage dance drama clichés, it may have you wondering whether the narrative is tethered to reality. In that case, we are here to investigate the origins of ‘Into the Beat’ for you.
Is Into the Beat Based on a True Story?
No, ‘Into the Beat’ is not based on a true story. The film is based on an original screenplay penned by Stefan Westerwelle and Hannah Schweier. The makers of the film have not claimed that the story is inspired by any true-life events. The narrative of the film seems to be inspired by many of the earlier dance-dramas like ‘Footloose’ and ‘Step Up,’ but it still manages to remain fresh, owing much to the talents of the debutant lead cast Alexandra Pfeifer (Katya) and Yalany Marschner (Marlon). The tense chemistry between them is too hard to overlook, and they seem thoroughly convincing in their characters.
Finding the right person for the character of Katya was indeed a daunting task due to the character’s ballet upbringing and her new foray into the world of hip hop. Thanks to the relentless search by Philipp Budweg of Lieblingsfilm, the director managed to find the perfect actor in Alexandra. The director himself divulged in an interview that he knew that she was going to be perfect for the role of Katya as soon as he started exploring her Instagram profile.
If you have seen the film, you can imagine that the dance sequences were meticulously crafted by professional choreographers. Considerable thought went into the process. Both Alexandra and Yalany, alongside the other cast members, were given professional dance training at the renowned Flying Steps Academy of Berlin. Choreographer Pepita Bauhardt ideated the standalone dance segments, while Jeff Jimenez took the responsibility of choreographing group-led dance performances, like the one that introduces viewers to the Battle-Land.
The lead actors took intense training for three months to prepare themselves for the film. However, the magical spark that is visible between Katya and Marlon is natural and not explicitly related to the rigorous training process. The director said that sharing an apartment during the rehearsal days made the actors more comfortable with each other, which resulted in the brilliant chemistry that is visible in the film.
In a film that revolves around the theme of dance, the audiences would anticipate seeing some real dance crews. Thankfully, the film does not disappoint in that department. According to the director, while Katya’s fellow dance troupe members were recruited locally, choreographer Jeff Jimenez managed to convince notable Berlin crews such as M.I.K. Family and Team Recycled to make appearances in the film. M.I.K. Family member Dennis Kyere can be recognized in the dance sequence that reveals the world of hip hop to Katya. While a fictional story at heart, ‘Into the Beat’ manages to pull off a realistic depiction of the energetic realm of freestyle dance. However, if you are asking whether Marlon’s hero Ali Fazer exists in real life, the answer would be no, he does not.
Read More: Into The Beat Filming Locations