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Top 10 Ballet Movies You Need to Watch

From dramas to documentaries, here are our top 10 ballet movie recommendations for you to watch!

CENTER STAGE, Sascha Radetsky, Amanda Schull, Ethan Stiefel, 2000


This 1977 classic featuring Shirley MacLaine and the one and only Mikhail Baryshnikov, centers around the world of ballet in New York City. From love interests to company drama, you’ll see why this movie was nominated for 11 Oscars!


This documentary chronicles the creation of New York City Ballet’s 422nd original ballet. Featuring one of the world’s leading choreographers, Justin Peck, you see the incredible amount of work that goes into a creating a ballet from start to finish.


Inspired by the stories of dancers at The Joffrey Ballet, this film offers a realistic look at life as a professional dancer. From career-ending injuries to a love story between Neve Campbell and James Franco, you will not be disappointed!


A fascinating documentary that dives into the history of one of the world’s most iconic companies, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Hear from former dancers about their time performing around the world and working with some of the most iconic choreographers.


Arguably one of the most well-known dance movies of all time, Center Stage combines all of the clichéd dance drama you could ever want with killer performances by legendary American Ballet Theatre dancers Ethan Stiefel, Sascha Radetsky, and Julie Kent!


A close-up look at the intense and demanding lives of six students competing in one of the worlds largest ballet competitions, the Youth America Grand Prix.


Loosely based on the fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen, this Hollywood classic follows a young dancer who puts on a red pair of pointe shoes that can never come off, forcing her to dance to her death.


Following the incredibly inspiring life of Misty Copeland, this documentary highlights the lack of diversity in the world of ballet as she makes history rising in the ranks of American Ballet Theatre, becoming one of the most well-known faces of the art form.


Based on the life of Li Cunxin, Mao’s Last Dancer shares the life of a young boy growing up in China, who is hand-picked by the government to study ballet. After participating in an exchange program with Houston Ballet, Li falls in love with an American dancer, changing his life forever.


We would be remiss if we didn’t include this psychological thriller that introduced a lot of people to the world of ballet for the very first time. Though it definitely takes a dark lens to the competitive nature of ballet, you will see some incredible dancing by Natalie Portman’s dance double, American Ballet Theatre principal Sarah Lane.

Don’t see your favorite ballet movie listed? Comment below with your go-to flick!


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