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Starting with the 2006 debut of ‘Step Up’, producers Jennifer Gibgot and Adam Shankman have created a series of ultra‐popular hip‐hop fairy tales that blend the urgency of the latest street dance with the romance of “Romeo and Juliet.” Each new chapter in the franchise has brought to the screen even more astonishing choreography and imaginative scenarios than its predecessors.
With ‘Step Up Revolution’, the fourth film in the series, Gibgot and Shankman unleash the biggest and most challenging film they have made to date, packed with gravity‐defying production numbers and talented, red‐hot young performers. The producers have pulled out all the stops for the story of a daring and innovative group of performance artists called The Mob. Using the streets of Miami as their staging grounds, The Mob blends music, dance, visual arts and cutting‐edge technology in extravagant flash mob performances that appear and disappear in moments.
“We all gravitated to the notion of the flash mob,” says executive producer Matt Smith. “That is a meticulously planned, well‐organized form of dance performed publicly and made to appear spontaneous. It’s done live and on the fly, so it’s also got an ‘anything can happen’ feel that we wanted to capitalize on. Flash mobs are so much of the moment in our culture right now. People are out there doing it in the streets, but I don’t think anybody has ever done them on this scale with top flight dancers and choreography.”
The scope and ambition of the film’s flash mob dance numbers are unprecedented. “They are not like anything you’ve ever seen in a movie before, even in the earlier ‘Step Up’ films,” says Gibgot. “It’s no longer about two teams battling each other. We’ve taken something exciting that is the Zeitgeist right now, amped it up and put a whole new spin on it.”
Taking dance into the streets of a major metropolis opens up the movie in a way that makes it very different from the earlier films, according to Smith. “We go outdoors in front of huge crowds, instead of the club battling you’ve seen in earlier films. That takes it to a whole other level. And unlike the choreography of the average flash mob, which is pretty rudimentary, we are showcasing some of the greatest dancers in the world doing these elaborately choreographed and staged dance numbers in some very surprising settings.”
Eventually, Smith observes, the performances turn into something more powerful than just eye‐popping moves. “As the character Emily says in the movie, it’s time to go from performance art to protest art. That’s a turning point for all of our characters. The art form can be used for something greater than just, ‘Hey, look at us.’ It can be used to deliver a message. And they take that message and then deliver it in really fun, unexpected ways all over the city.”
Image Courtesy of Step Up Movie