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||IMDB Rating: 7.5/10 from 3,123 votes
||Release: 28 October 2006 (Netherlands) /
||Genre: Documentary, Family, Music, Musical
||Director: Marilyn Agrelo,
||Stars: Charlotte Jorgensen, Emma Therese Biegacki, Eva Carrozza, Evangelina Carrozzo, Graciela Daniele, Heather Berman, Leslie Freu, Madeleine Hackney, Paul Daggett, Pierre Dulaine, Rodney Lopez, Stacee Mandeville, Tara Devon Gallagher, Terri Mintzer, Victoria Malvagno
||Synopsis: Eleven-year-old New York City public school kids journey into the world of ballroom dancing and reveal pieces of themselves and their world along the way. Told from their candid, sometimes hilarious perspectives, these kids are transformed, from reluctant participants to determined competitors, from typical urban kids to "ladies and gentlemen," on their way to try to compete in the final citywide competition. Providing unique insight into the incredible cultural diversity that is New York City, this film profiles several kids from three schools (out of 60) at this dynamic age, when becoming that "cool" teenager vies for position with familiar innocence, while they learn the merengue, rumba, tango, the foxtrot and swing. Written by Anonymous
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This sunny documentary on a rainy and gloomy afternoon was the perfect
movie to watch. "Mad Hot Ballroom" directed by Marilyn Agrelo, who is
working with her collaborator, Amy Sewell, will put anyone into a good
mood because it's a disarming view at inner city children who have
benefited a lot from this experience.
What comes across in the documentary is the tenacity in which the
teachers keep these children involved as they are exposed to another
world many of them don't even know exists. The teachers one sees in the
film are clearly people that ought to be commended for motivating
children that otherwise would probably be in the streets hanging out
and getting in trouble.
Yomaira Reynoso and Allison Sheniak are seen openly crying when
describing what they are trying to give these youngsters. It shows
their devotion to the children that comes from their hearts. It's a
rare thing to find men and women whose lives are given to the cause of
shaping these youngsters under their care. The other teachers also have
to be singled out for their dedication, especially Rodney Lopez and
Three public schools are shown preparing for the competition, but only
three are singled out, one in Tribeca, one in Brooklyn and one in
Washington Heights. The children featured in the different segments are
caught being themselves. There seems to be an air of improvisation in
the way Ms. Agrelo points the camera to whatever is going on. The kids
come out so natural in being themselves, no small achievement for this,
or any other director.
It is to Ms. Reynoso's credit to dress all the six couples of her team
in such a colorful, yet modest, way they have a dignified and
professional look. These children of Washington Heights are poor, but
they clearly show they are there to win, despite of competing with
other, more affluent, schools. In a way, Ms. Reynoso has achieved in
showing by her example how to be a better person.
The dancing in all the different categories at the finals show all
teams in great form. Some of the dancers show a grace and a joy for
whatever they are dancing at the moment. This is reflected in some of
the judges, especially Ann Reinking, who seems happily surprised by
some of the kids on stage.
The reaction of the audience at the session we attended couldn't have
been more positive. The energy of the music and the dancing make a
perfect combination. Ms. Agrelo is to be congratulated for capturing
these New York school kids that show an amazing group of young and
talented people that are a delight to watch.
Tags for Mad Hot Ballroom Full Movie
, Emma Therese Biegacki
, Eva Carrozza
, Evangelina Carrozzo
, Graciela Daniele
, Heather Berman
, Leslie Freu
, Madeleine Hackney
, Paul Daggett
, Pierre Dulaine
, Rodney Lopez
, Stacee Mandeville
, Tara Devon Gallagher
, Terri Mintzer
, Victoria Malvagno
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