High Strung Free Dance has the performances and production values that will lead you to believe it is in step with Step Up and many classic dance films.
|Screenplay By||Janeen Damian, Michael Damian|
|Who Is This For?|
|Where To Buy, Rent, or Stream?||Check Theater Listings|
|Kid Diamond||Manuel Pacific|
Plot Summary/ Review
With Barlow being the daughter of a dancer, Oksana, she has grown up conditioned for greatness. Making the fact she long struggled to secure a job disheartening and with her mother offering harsh truths than attempting to console her, it made each cut more and more difficult. But then, after being cut once again, she forces a director, Zander, to take notice of her, and this bold maneuver allows her the opportunity to perform in the Broadway production Free Dance.
But it isn’t only her dream which may become realized. A young pianist named Charlie also hopes to one day perform, but until then, he delivers food for a shop he works at. Yet, as Barlow’s star is on the rise, a chance encounter allows Charlie to be within arm’s reach of his dream. Leaving you to wonder, as the volatile Zander pushes everyone, replaces on will, and reveals the pressure which comes with doing things on a professional level, will either break?
The level of dance you see in High Strong Dance Free reminds, or introduces you, to how much technique and expression is required to be a masterful dancer. For whether we are watching those who specialize in hip-hop, tap, or ballet, to not be left in awe, is nearly impossible. I’d even say, this is the kind of film which pushes the idea you need either a professionally constructed home setup or to see this in a movie theater. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a watered-down experience. That’s how much the film finds a way to capture that live feeling, despite the movie not strictly being the Dance Free production.
Like with the dancing, you get a diverse mixture of hip-hop, doo-wop, classical, even operatic music, to fill your soul from scene to scene and push you to want to check out Amazon for a soundtrack. Charlie’s piano music, throughout the film, is one key example, but even for someone with a small part like Manuel Pacific, as Kid Diamond, they leave a mark on you and make you want to revisit their contribution to High Strung Dance Free.
The Fact You Get To See The Production They Were Rehearsing For
Unfortunately, we don’t always get to see the whole complete product when the focus is preparing for a major performance. But, in High Strung Dance Free, we get to see not only the behind the scenes drama and preparation but Zander’s vision. Making it so, like the dancers, you feel all the trials and tribulations were worth it because, Zander’s vision, it creates a visual you would believe could premiere on Broadway and then have a national tour.
On The Fence
You May Not Feel That You Got To Connect With The Characters
Whether we’re talking about Barlow, Charlie, Oksana, or Zander, don’t expect to learn a huge amount about any of them. While the performers themselves aren’t replaceable, it is made clear they are but the vessel for the music and dance, and as for the characters they play? They exist to move along the story as much as, in an action movie, someone being kidnapped or wronged is used to set up the gunfights and car chases you came for.
Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)
Despite not connecting to the characters, you will have a deep connection to their performances as you sit in awe of their physical abilities. Be it the way they move their bodies and show off their flexibility or technique, or the talent of the songwriters and the voices that make the ability to hear a privilege. Hence the positive label. High Strung Dance Free has a vibe that leads you to believe this was an adaptation of an actual stage performance rather than a production that began as a movie. Thus leading to a craving for live theater because High Strung Dance Free ultimately feels like an appetizer, or out of sequence desert, that makes you think a live performance can be the only thing to satiate your newfound appetite.