Center Stage

 
Melodramatic, a bit racy -- some teens will love.
  • Review Date: April 27, 2004
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 114 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie depicts the intense pressure that women dancers are under to achieve an ideal body type; no mention is made of the similar pressures that afflict their male colleagues. One of the male dancers is gay. An off-color joke about a mouse having its way with an elephant is lame and unnecessary.

Violence

One dancer collapses in tears from an injury.

Sex

Jodie has sex with the male star dancer, who sleeps around. A Russian student dances torridly with an older woman he picks up in a salsa club. A sexual pas-de-deux involves some writhing around on a bed, and Jodi strips down to a costume that looks like a bra and panties.

Language

One f-word and some mild bathroom and sexual language.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Jodie and her under-age buddies go out drinking and end up with serious hangovers (a "problem" that's played for laughs). Many of the dancers smoke.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that one dancer collapses in tears from an injury. The movie depicts the intense pressure that women dancers are under to achieve an ideal body type; no mention is made of the similar pressures that afflict their male colleagues. One of the male dancers is gay. The star ballerina is under plenty of parental pressure and suffers from bulimia. The head of the ballet school married one of his students (despite a substantial age gap). One f-word and some mild bathroom and sexual language. Jodie and her under-age buddies go out drinking and end up with serious hangovers (a "problem" that's played for laughs). Many of the dancers smoke. Maureen's mom pushes her constantly to "be the best." Jodie has sex with the male star dancer, who sleeps around. A Russian student dances torridly with an older woman he picks up in a salsa club. An off-color joke about a mouse having its way with an elephant is lame and unnecessary. A sexual pas-de-deux involves some writhing around on a bed, and Jodi strips down to a costume that looks like a bra and panties.

What's the story?

A combination of high-stakes drama, sweet-natured characters, and bravado performances, CENTER STAGE follows a group of teen ballet dancers during their stressful tryouts for the prestigious American Ballet Academy. Along with great dancing, the film portrays an honest look at the less glamorous side of professional dance and follows the behind-the-scenes soap opera stories of the dancers. A number of the dancers can't resist the city's nightlife and are chastised for being hung over at an early morning rehearsal. Maureen deals with her pushy stage mother. Cooper (Ethan Stiefel), the bad boy, seduces Jody (Amanda Schull). During a dress rehearsal, male lead Erik collapses in pain from an injury and his career hangs in the balance. Several girls struggle with their body types and especially their weight -- one is banished from the program for her healthy appetite.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Young dance fans looking for a movie to call their own need look no further. Center Stage features lots of cool jazz and modern moves, but it also provides beautiful footage of traditional (and not-so-traditional) ballet. Cast in its leading roles are some excellent dancers, particularly Ethan Stiefel as Cooper, whose performance in "Stars and Stripes Forever" is truly amazing.

Although the dancing looks more than impressive to any lay viewer, it must be said that the choreography will probably strike professional dancers as unoriginal, emphasizing showmanship over artistry (think Flashdance).

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the high-pressure life of a professional dancer.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 12, 2000
DVD release date:October 24, 2000
Cast:Amanda Schull, Peter Gallagher, Zoe Saldana
Director:Nicholas Hytner
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Genre:Drama
Run time:114 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language and some sensuality

This review of Center Stage was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written bydancegirl3697 August 29, 2011
age 12+
 

Great!

I love this movie. Im a fdancer so this is inspirational to me. It does get a little racy at times, but overall its a really good movie :)
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written bybookworm123 April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

This movie made me want to become a ballet dancer!

This movie made me want to become a ballet dancer! There were two questionable sex scenes (one with Cooper Nielson, the choreographer, in his bedroom; the other on-stage). Just fast-forward to the next chapter and the only thing you'll miss is "that". I ABSOLUTELY RECOMMEND THIS MOVIE TO TEENS AND ADULTS EVERYWHERE...YOU'LL FIND YOURSELF TRYING TO DO A TURNOUT OR A FANCY JUMP!
Teen, 14 years old Written byMc876423 July 2, 2014
age 13+
 

Center Stage

I really liked it. After I finished the movie it made me want to become a ballet dancer. Overall I think it was an enjoyable drama movie about a determined ballet-dancer. So, I would recommend it for everybody who loves to watch singing and dancing movies and for teens and up
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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