The Challenge | Chicago Reader

The Challenge

Acclaimed choreographer Blanca Li makes her feature debut with this break dancing musical inspired by Hollywood classics. As two Paris crews prepare for a competition that will send the victors to New York for the world championship, an 18-year-old dancer (Benjamin Chaouat) moves out on his wealthy, overprotective mom (competently played by Li). Hoping to get closer to him, she joins the rival crew, showing them tapes of old musicals in her fancy apartment to teach them new moves. There are some laughs and plenty of lively choreography, though the dancers' near-balletic unison seems a far cry from break dancing's anarchic origins and the dance-conquers-all finale is treacly enough for a bad sitcom. In French with subtitles. 98 min.

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