Scene from battle in Street Dance 3DDance, in any form, is a talent and an art. While some people may regard less formal styles as less admirable, this film shows the hard work that goes into training for any dance competition. Street Dance 3D is a skilful display of talent with a non-intrusive plot to string the showcases together.

Things couldn’t be going better for street dancer Carly (Nichola Burley) – she’s in love with her charismatic boyfriend Jay (Ukweli Roach) and their dance crew is going to the UK Street Dance Championship finals. However, everything changes when Jay walks out on Carly and the crew. Thrown into the deep end, Carly struggles to prove to the crew – and herself – that she can lead them to victory. But a series of setbacks, including losing their rehearsal space, causes her to seriously doubt her leadership skills. Fate shines on Carly when Helena (Charlotte Rampling), a ballet schoolmistress, is impressed with the troupe’s skill and enthusiasm. As a result, Helena offers practice space at the Ballet Academy in exchange for including her ballet dancers in the group, in hopes of injecting some passion into them before their audition for The Royal Ballet. The clash of cultures eventually develops into a mutual respect, as well as a budding relationship between Carly and Tomas (Richard Winsor), a handsome ballet dancer.

The film opens with the preliminary competition, so audiences get to immediately see what this group is capable of as well as their chief opponents. From there the narrative takes a step to the forefront, but dance – and the music that accompanies it – are still the driving force of the picture. The story is not very verbal, but the characters’ emotions and level of acceptance of their new situation can be read in their moves. There’s even a scene that can be interpreted as a mating dance. “What do you want your audience to feel?” becomes the key words of encouragement for Carly.

The film relies so heavily on the physical delivery of the narrative, the dancing had to be top-notch. Burley and Winsor are excellent dancers and convincing actors, making them entirely suitable to lead the picture. They also perform mesmerizing solos that provide eye candy for everyone. The other two featured dance troupes are making their debut film appearances, having previously starred on Britain’s Got Talent – Flawless has 11 members aged 20-30 and Diversity’s members are aged 13-26 and includes three sets of brothers and four of their friends. George Sampson, another Britain’s Got Talent alumnus, also has the opportunity to strut his stuff on the big screen.

Unfortunately, the 3D aspect of the film looks cool but is quite negligible. It doesn’t add much when more than one person is performing, but gives nice depth to individual acts. There is also a total failure to utilize the 3D element when a character is scared by the sudden appearance of something, but her reaction is shown rather than the object of fright. In addition, I’m still undecided regarding my feelings about sweat that jumps off the screen – even if it’s beading the body of an attractive woman.

As a dance film, Street Dance 3D is a success because it doesn’t attempt to present a complicated story – it employs a simple narrative to connect impressive dance sequences. Maybe all these films should be made by music video directors like Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini.

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