When it comes to film, there are few things that fill my heart with joy as quickly as a dance scene. And while this goes a long way to explaining my adoration of musicals, there’s a special place in my heart for non-musical films that proclaim ‘sit down and shut up. We’re going to have some dancing now.’
It’s a wonderfully versatile storytelling device, with an enormous array of styles and histories available to convey any number of feelings. That kind of raw, directly representational movement, when it’s done well, can stir up fierce emotion in a way dialogue couldn’t. Of course, when done badly it can bring the whole film down. So just for fun, let’s take a look at five examples of dance scenes in film (musicals being exempted, because that’s a whole different rule set to deal with), and what they impart.
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