Friday, 27 May 2016

"Streetdance Family" (Guardian 27/05/16)

Streetdance Family ***
Dirs: Debbie Shuter, Adam Tysoe. With: Entity Allstars. 87 mins. Cert: 12A

Not strictly affiliated to the established British urban franchise, this cheery documentary nevertheless rotates in similar circles, tracking U-16 dance crew Entity from their Barking clubhouse to the world champs in Bochum. Directors Debbie Shuter and Adam Tysoe shake up the usual contest-doc choreography by remaining open to the element of surprise. While the kids bust spectacular moves, the mums get tiddly on the sidelines, and the UK’s Streetdance Ambassador is revealed as a greying Greg Davies-alike named Derek. Objectivity is soon abandoned – the filmmakers’ son Ethan is in this troupe, so onscreen graphics deploy the first person plural – yet that’s a small sacrifice set against the heartening community spirit evoked either side of the camera: here are people working against the odds, with presumably limited resources, to give these youngsters a rare sense of achievement. More so than any BGT montage, it makes backflips and voguing seem an urgent, possibly even life-altering concern.

Streetdance Family opens in Odeon cinemas nationwide from today; for details on venues and ticket availability, click here.

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