Director Susan Glatzer’s Alive and Kicking, a movie featuring many well-known local and national Swing dancers, is getting great reviews among swing dancers and in mainstream media.
As of this writing, it has a 98% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes with 187 user ratings.
L.A. Times film critic Sheri Linden gives it a positive review, saying “the jaw-dropping improvisations and physical intimacy of the dancers make it an action film par excellence — joy-fueled and gravity-defying.”.
Hollywood Reporter critic John Defore writes, “the action Alive and Kicking captures is so transfixing, one marvels that dancers can keep it up for five years, much less five decades.”.
It currently has a 7.7/10 rating on IMDb.
On Facebook, many Swing dancers have given the movie high praise.
When I first heard that someone was making a movie about the modern Swing dance scene, I was pretty worried. After the neo-Swing revival, many of the depictions of Swing dancing in mainstream media have been amateurish, inaccurate, and/or downright idiotic, ala The Mask with Jim Carey (I blame this movie for making all of my non-swing friends think we dress up in bright yellow zoot suits when we go dancing).
So, it was a great relief to hear that Alive and Kicking depicted Swing dancing in an authentic manner, had good production value, and had an entertaining, heartfelt, and positive message. Quite an accomplishment for Glatzer’s first documentary.
I finally got to see the movie and discovered for myself why this movie is getting good reviews. Not only does it have great dance footage, but it delves into the human stories and reasons why Swing dancing brings joy to so many of us.
As a long-time L.A. Swing dancer, it was also fun to see so many people I knew on the big screen.
But, it’s also a great movie to show your non-dancing family and friends who have been wondering what why you’ve been spending so much time doing this Swing dance thing.
You can view the trailer here:
You can steam (rent) Alive and Kicking online on Amazon or buy it here (yes, it’s worth having in your collection!):
What did you think of Alive and Kicking? Please comment below! – Brian