Into the Beat – Dein Herz tanzt
Director: Stefan Westerwelle
Writer: Hannah Schweier, Stefan Westerwelle
Cast: Alexandra Pfeifer, Yalany Marschner, Trystan Pütter, Helen Schneider, Ina Geraldine Guy,
Seen on: 5.8.2020
Katya (Alexandra Pfeifer) is training as a ballet dancer and she’s just about to have the biggest audition of her life: an opportunity for a scholarship at the New York Ballet Academy. Since she comes from a ballet family, with her father (Trystan Pütter) a big star, it was always clear that she would go down that route. But when Katya stumbles into a dance club filled with hip-hop dancers, she suddenly finds that ballet may not be her passion after all. When Marlon (Yalany Marschner) offers to train with her, she gladly accepts – but having two dance careers at once simply isn’t possible.
I love dance movies, I am very aware of the tropey nature of most of them and I can even appreciate it. I felt like the people who made Into the Beat don’t, which makes the film a soulless affair.
There were two things that irritated me most: one was the fact that they don’t actually dance a whole lot in the film and that’s like the first thing I look for in a dance movie. A dance movie has a plot only as a vehicle to show us as many dances as possible. That’s why they are often so tropey: it’s really not about the story, it’s about the dancing. So, Into the Beat skimping on the dancing shows that it really doesn’t understand what it is all about.
Two was that I found it absolutely insulting that Katya basically realized hip-hop dancing is a thing (which in itself, in this day and age, raises several eyebrows), training for it for like two weeks (the timeline here is very unclear) and then winning the most important audition ever because she is so great at hip-hop. So the (white) ballet dancer is the best hip-hop dancer and it is suggested that hip-hop really doesn’t need all that much skill, a ballet dancer can pick it up at once. I find that offensive. [Usually, they create a fusion of ballet and hip-hop and that combination is what really wins, but in this film, they insinuate that there are some ballet elements, but really, it’s straight up hip-hop.]
There are some good parts to the film. Pfeifer and Marschner are nice as the fresh-faced leads, while Pütter really brings the emotional weight to the story. The dance scene where Katya and Marlon dance separately, but brought together by the editing, was actually really good. And my 11-year-old niece enjoyed the hell out of it.
I had originally planned to see this film with friends and make a drinking game out of it (drink at every trope), but then my niece wanted to see it, so I took her instead and watched it sober. And on the one hand, it was a good thing, I would have probably gotten alcohol poisoning. But on the other hand, I really wished I had something to drink while watching the film.
Summarizing: oh well.