Centre Stage -
rather predictably - can only be described as little more than an awfully
dull descendant from Fame - not because it is like Fame but
because it doesn't try to be anything else. This, of course makes the film
and its storyline as formulaic and calculated as the dance steps themselves,
while the brat-pack dancers are contrived cliches who cannot pull their
concentration away from the mirrored walls of the dance studios. Whilst
one may be compassionate towards the protagonist, one can't help wondering
why she wants to make it in a profession that deforms, deprives and seems
to devalue, making the storyline as difficult to like as the characters.
Indeed, a complete love of dance is essential to enjoy this film, and while
the sequences are all excellently choreographed highlights, they are also
too long and drawn out. Centre Stage is a gourmet feast for dance
enthusiasts but brain mush for anyone who needs a bit more than men in
tights to whet their appetite, and while the general message is fairly
positive and harmless, the film threatens to trivialise the kinds of pressures
on dancers that are, Iím sure, very real.
The climactic showcase
sequence in which the whole plot is replayed through an apparently unrehearsed
but immaculate ballet piece is a pointless waste of film stock, while the
fairy tale ending is just plain creepy in the 'all's-well-that-ends-well'
tradition of filmmaking. Centre Stage belly flops rather than
pirouettes, and loses any style it may have had, on its way down.