Big dance numbers of the last two decades
April 16, 2019 5:45 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone think of movies with awesome dance scenes in them, made in the last twenty years?

I feel like all the dance scenes I know are pre-millennial, mainly from older musicals. I'm not super knowledgeable about up-to-date movie musicals, but in particular I'd like to have a catalogue of examples of recent dance scenes in movies, from musicals or non-musicals. This Askme thread from a couple years ago had a lot of great examples but most of them are at least a couple decades old. So give me your 21st-century epic dance moments! Thanks for any suggestions!
posted by daisystomper to Media & Arts (37 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Cell Block Tango from Chicago (2002)
posted by brookeb at 5:47 PM on April 16, 2019 [8 favorites]

Enchanted with Amy Adams is from 2007. The scene in the park came to mind immediately.
posted by Fukiyama at 5:47 PM on April 16, 2019 [12 favorites]

Some good candidates are La La Land and Chicago.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 5:59 PM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Zatoichi (座頭市) 2003
posted by nickggully at 6:06 PM on April 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

The 2007 remake of Hairspray comes to mind right away.
posted by timestep at 6:09 PM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

There was s pretty huge sing and dance at the end of Slumdog Millionaire.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:09 PM on April 16, 2019 [7 favorites]

'La La Land' opening freeway scene is pretty impressive.

(The rest is fun, they're not quite Ginger & Fred level, but nobody is)
posted by ovvl at 6:26 PM on April 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

All of "Chicago"!
posted by Dolley at 6:34 PM on April 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

Maybe not stylistically what you are looking for, but the Step Up movies have some great dancing!
posted by firei at 6:42 PM on April 16, 2019 [8 favorites]

The end of Slumdog Millionaire has a pretty amazing dance scene when the credits are about to roll.
posted by floweredfish at 6:42 PM on April 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

There’s a great dance scene in Isn’t it Romantic, which came out just this year!
posted by suri at 7:00 PM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

(500) Days of Summer, which is particularly notable for having a dance number but not being a musical.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:04 PM on April 16, 2019 [7 favorites]

The Muppets (2011) opens with a great dance number.
posted by ewok_academy at 7:06 PM on April 16, 2019 [6 favorites]

It's hurting me, but seconding Step Up, especially the sequels. Mostly because John Chu (of Crazy Rich Asians) directs, and he knows how to direct visually rich choreography . League of Extraordinary Dancers, also his, is cool to check out too, but a web series instead of a movie.

Matter of fact, the 2000s were like a renaissance of street dance movies that were cheesy and problematic, but had great dance sequences. If that style is in your scope, see also Stomp the Yard, Save the Last Dance, and Take the Lead.

If you want the opposite (great movies with dance numbers that are memorable for their less than stellar dancing) the endings of Silver Linings Playbook, Little Miss Sunshine, and Napoleon Dynamite are fun to watch.
posted by galleta monster at 7:19 PM on April 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

There are a million of them in Moulin Rouge, which is one of my all-time favorite films.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:20 PM on April 16, 2019 [8 favorites]

it's mentioned in the linked thread, but just to remention it here -- I'm fond of "Ain't No Dames" from Hail Caesar as a naked homage to musicals of old.

I haven't gotten around to watching the new Fosse & Vernon bioseries, but knowing that it's on air now prompts to also name check All That Jazz, which is a little outside of your "two decades" scope but is still great, and should have credit for a lot of modern musical choreography. Specifically, I love the opening and this duet.

I am also a big fan of the Step Up series. The first one is more endearing just as a romance between breakdance and ballet, which is a bit gimmicky and has relatively modest choreography outside of that gimmick; whereas I have watched the Step Up 2 Finale an unreasonable number of times just because it's a fun breakdance movie. And there's also the Channing Tatum cameo in 2 that involves breakdancing with trampolines because why not.

And just for the Channing Tatum trifecta - Magic Mike XXL Mirror Dance duet
posted by bl1nk at 7:21 PM on April 16, 2019 [5 favorites]

Mama Mia 1 and 2.

The Greatest Showman watch for the barman in the Ohter Side and From Now On

And from a non-musical, Intouchable as the staid crowd joins the irresistible dancer.
posted by beaning at 7:38 PM on April 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

No love for Magic Mike XXL?

No, no, it's fine, I'll show myself out.
posted by jameaterblues at 8:38 PM on April 16, 2019 [8 favorites]

Bollywood movies have plenty of these! I have a preference for the ones featuring more traditional Indian dance, so here are some from the past couple decades. I haven't been watching too many Bollywood movies lately, so this is a fairly limited selection, but I do love me a good, extravagantly staged Bollywood dance number.

Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a great source for lush, beautiful dance scenes: Ghoomar from Padmaavat (bonus dancing with fire!), Pinga and Mohe Rang Do Laal from Bajirao Mastani, Lahu Munh Lag Gaya from Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela (this movie is an extremely Not Good adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, HOWEVER, this one scene is an excellent re-imagination of Romeo and Juliet's kiss in Act I), Dola re Dola from Devdas.

There's also Bole Chudiyan from that melodramatic classic Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Aaaja Nachle from the movie of the same name, Dhoom Taana from Om Shanti Om (this one's a sly and delightful trip through like forty years of Bollywood dance history), and Bismil from Haider (an adaptation of Hamlet, so this scene is actually an adaptation of the staging of The Murder of Gonzago that was supposed to reveal Claudius's guilt or innocence).
posted by yasaman at 8:53 PM on April 16, 2019 [9 favorites]

We're all in this together - High School Musical
posted by mogget at 9:01 PM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Let's not forget the big dance number in Ted 2.
posted by cleverevans at 9:04 PM on April 16, 2019

Dancer In The Dark but don't watch the rest of it.
posted by Candleman at 9:52 PM on April 16, 2019

The big finale in Anybody Can Dance is phenomenal.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:05 PM on April 16, 2019

more Channing Tatum - No Dames from the Coens' Hail, Caesar! Pure ode to classic movie-making dance numbers.
posted by mannequito at 11:11 PM on April 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

Adding this because it's unexpected... There's a huge dance scene at the end of The 40 Year Old Virgin.
posted by hydra77 at 11:30 PM on April 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

Shall We Dance is a lukewarm 2004 American remake of a stunningly beautiful Japanese movie of the same name from 1996, about a man in a depressing rut who gains a new lease on life through ballroom dancing.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:05 AM on April 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

Let's not forget the big dance number in Ted 2.

Ah yes, Seth McFarlane does like his dance numbers. He put one in A Million Ways to Die In The West as well.
posted by Johnny Assay at 4:14 AM on April 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Not a movie, but tv show Glee is all about big song & dance numbers. “Singin’ in the Rain/Umbrella”, Season 2, Episode 7, is over the top.
posted by theora55 at 4:55 AM on April 17, 2019

Lagaan has some amazing dance numbers.
posted by Lexica at 11:04 AM on April 17, 2019

There's a dance scene in Silver Linings Playbook.
posted by cleverevans at 12:20 PM on April 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Okay one more... (they keep coming to me): Napoleon Dynamite.
posted by cleverevans at 12:38 PM on April 17, 2019

Come to think of it, almost any Austen adaptation is going to have at least one gorgeous ballroom scene. I seem to recall liking the one in the 2009 Emma.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:52 PM on April 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oooh, dueling Darcys!
The dance scene in Pride and Prejudice, 1995, Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.
The dance scene in Pride and Prejudice, 2005, Matthew Macfadyen and Keira Knightley.
A different dance scene in Bride and Prejudice, 2004, Aishwarya Rai dancing and Martin Henderson looking on.
Aaaand... this is as close as it gets in the end credits of Austenland, 2013, J.J. Field and Keri Russell.
posted by TrishaU at 10:35 PM on April 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

If you're liking the Indian movie dances, let me add a couple from Singh is Bliing: Cinema Dekke Mamma and Dil Kare Chu Che (which comes with its own English translator!) and, what the heck, here's the promo videosong for the movie too.
posted by gusottertrout at 2:54 AM on April 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ella Enchanted ends with a big dance number, and there's other random singing and dancing throughout.
posted by hought20 at 5:49 AM on April 18, 2019

I know you asked for movies and that's not what this is, but honestly, lots of the dance numbers in the TV show Smash were fantastic. Apologies if TV shows are out of bounds.
posted by kristi at 8:29 PM on April 21, 2019

« Older So what's the deal with this old church, anyway?   |   Identify tab playing audio in Firefox Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.