Streetdance 2 – A Political Movement?

If there is one filmgenre you can not find any political tendencies in, it is the dancefilm. Usually there is a sparse dramatic composition, that allows to dance most of the time. The only interruption can be a romantic lovestory between two dancers. The first part of „Streetdance“ came out in 2010 and follows exactly these rules. A couple of streetdancers hope to win a big contest, but they need help from ballett dancers. The ballett teacher is very happy about it, because she thinks the ballett lessons today are mostly drill without emotions and deep feelings. She believes the street dancers and the ballett dancers can work together to find a new form of dancing, beyond all the conventional boundaries. The plan succeeds. What follows is the typical I would call it multicultural, liberal cross-over-thinking, where the difference between high- and lowbrow is eliminated. Reality is it, who tells you the end of the story: Let`s subsidise the next popcultural event and forget the old boring opera, it is elitist and undemocratic. After two years you can now see the second part of „Streetdance“. On the surface it resembles the first part. Young streetdancers have a big contest, they want to create a new way of dancing and so they connect with a salsa dance group. It is not a secret, they will win the contest in the end of the film.

But there is a huge difference between the first and the second film. Is this only another dancefilm or is there more to it? What, if the new film gave us an interesting statement about the worldwide movement of young people, which started with occupy wallstreet and the violence in suburbia in Britain? Could not all the figures of „Streetdance“ be a part of this global youth awakening? The film begins in Britain. All the dancers are living in precarious situations. The last chance for them is to win the contest. For this aim they recruit young poor dancers all over Europe. Then they travel to Paris, the place of the revolution in 1789, where now the contest will take place. In Paris they meet the salsa group and work together. If you like: the european and the latinamerican rebellion cooperate. Here the dance is a symbol for the political movement. The lost generation will not accept their destiny in a global world of unrestrained capitalism and powerless parliaments. Seeing the dance as a symbol and not for the sake of itself the story of the film gets different dimension. In 90 minutes you can learn how to prepare a revolution. Formulate the aim, be disciplined, search for fellow campaigners, never give up… and so on. When Slavoj Zizek supported the people of occupy wallstreet with a great speech, he warned „don`t fall in love with yourselves“. Don`t repeat the mistake of the revolution of 1968, which very quickly became a fashionable event for all who wanted a nice adventure, to tell this their children and grandchildren. This is exactly the problem in „Streetdance“. The salsa girl meets the streetdance boy, an they fall in love. In this moment they forget the aim – to win the contest – and they only concentrate on their private happiness. Not until they put aside her personal relationship, can they be a part of the movement. In the last scene of the film, they have their final dance together, but at the end of the song they don`t look into each others eyes, they look to the crowd and to their shared future. This is what the philosopher Alain Badiou means by revolutionary love. A couple that doesn`t only see each other, but a couple that sees a third thing: The aim of the revolution. Dancing can be very political, if you want to see it this way.

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