Beautiful celebration of dance

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 April, 2009, 12:00am

Yet another movie adaptation of a popular Japanese manga, Dance, Subaru! is an inspiring but slightly overdramatic tale of a dancer trying to make it as a star.

The story will sound familiar: after her twin brother's childhood death, Subaru (Meisa Kuroki) is determined to honour him through dance, despite her father's disapproval. Fate brings her to a nightclub where she meets Isuzu, an eccentric but wise mentor with unconventional teaching methods.

When Subaru decides to turn professional, she witnesses friends turning to rivals and rivals acting like friends. Success and fame reveal the darker side of human nature, despite the ballet world's elegant fa?ade. Against all the odds, Subaru remains true to herself, winning everyone's heart in a feverish climax.

While the plot is predictable, the heroine is not: Subaru is not the usual fragile ballerina, but tough and stubbornly committed.

What makes this movie stand out is the beautifully shot dance scenes. Local director Lee Chi-ngai captures the varying genres, from dynamic street dance and expressive contemporary dance, to enthralling nightclub moves to the graceful ballet sequences, this is a celebration of dancers of all types.

The fight-for-your-dream theme maybe a bit cheesy for some people's liking, but anyone with a passion for performing arts will definitely find something to cheer for.