Looking for inspiration in the world of movies? There are plenty of great films out there. Here’s our list of favourites from the ballet world.
For the Kids
Billy Elliot (2000)
Set in England in 1984, the movie follows 11-year old Billy as he enrols in a ballet class to follow his real passion despite family and social pressure to stick with boxing. This movie reminds us that we should stay true to ourselves.
Ballerina is an animated adventure-comedy about the orphan girl Felicie who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. She gets a chance to dance at the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet, but there are still many obstacles in her way to become a dancer. A beautiful movie about dreams, passion and never giving up.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)
This is a re-telling of the famous ballet The Nutcracker. The movie notably features American Ballet Theatre’s principal dancer Misty Copeland as the Ballerina Princess. A must-see!
A Ballerina’s Tale (2015)
A truly inspirational story about principal dancer Misty Copeland in documentary form. Narrated by Copeland herself, the movie follows her rise to the top of one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world, the American Ballet Theatre. A wonderful film for aspiring dancers.
Ballet Shoes (2007)
This movie is an adaptation of Noel Streatfeild’s 1936 novel Ballet Shoes. It tells the story of three young orphans struggling to fulfil their dreams. The movie features Harry Potter star Emma Watson.
The Tales of Beatrix Potter (1971)
A live action movie featuring dancers of the Royal Ballet, choreographed by Frederick Ashton. The dancers are dressed to look just like the characters from the well-known stories by Beatrix Potter.
For the Teens and Adults
Center Stage (2000)
Center Stage follows ballet dancers at a prestigious school in America from their audition at the school to their final performance. It gives (dramatised) insight into the ups and downs of attending a vocational ballet school. There is some lovely dancing in this movie!
The Red Shoes
A classic which was voted the 9th greatest British film of all time by the British Film Institute in 1999, this movie is a must-see for all ballet film enthusiasts. It follows dancer Victoria Page who must choose between romance and her career in dance.
This is another classic and must-see with an all-star cast. Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines, Jerzy Skolimowski, Helen Mirren and Isabella Rossellini all star in this film about friendship, love, and dance, of course.
White Crow (2019)
The story of the legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev, this is as much a history lesson for dancers as a great movie.
Mao’s Last Dancer (2009)
The autobiographical story of Li Cunxin, a ballet dancer from China who fights to stay in America for love. Features some beautiful dance moments.