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High Strung Movie Review

Reviewed by on Apr 07, 2016
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews the dance and romance film High Strung. Will this mash-up of classical, hip-hop and other dance styles entertain you?

By: Lynn Barker

Don’t you hope to one day meet that talented equal who “completes” you? You might be disciplined and an overly-precise perfectionist while they are totally in the moment and trying to please nobody….or vice-versa. When dancer Ruby meets violinist Johnnie, sparks fly both onstage and off.

Keenan gets her hip hop onKeenan gets her hip hop onCourtesy of Riviera Films

Big City Hopes

Ruby Adams (Keenan Kampa) is a dancer from the Midwest on scholarship at a Manhattan Arts academy. She’s amazing in precise, classical ballet but can’t be relaxed enough in her Contemporary dance class. If she can’t chillax, dance teacher (Jane Seymour) might flunk her. Across town, talented Brit violinist Johnnie Blackwell (Nicholas Galitzine) is busking for bucks in the subway and trying to get a green card before he is deported.

In class rehearsalIn class rehearsalCourtesy of Riviera Films

Sparks Fly

Ruby and Johnnie meet cute when she is impressed with his playing and both young people are caught up and a bit roughed up when they land in the middle of a hip-hop dance crew battle. She’s knocked down, he helps her up and sparks fly. Sadly, Johnnie has just been scammed by a slimy immigration lawyer who took his money and never produced that green card.

Falling in loveFalling in loveCourtesy of Riviera Films

Dance Crew and Stolen Violin

Johnnie meets the SwitchStep dance crew who practice in his building and they try to cook up something musical together. Johnnie’s violin is stolen in the subway and he is shattered. Ruby borrows a violin for him from her academy and, at first Johnnie refuses her help but when she tells him there is a competition combining dance with musicians in which he can win twenty-five thousand bucks and get a student Visa, he perks up as does their romance.

The SwitchStep dance crewThe SwitchStep dance crewCourtesy of Riviera Films

The Competition

Johnnie has already tangled in a violin “play-off” with school ace violinist Kyle (Richard Southgate) who has been rejected as boyfriend material by Ruby and, of course, the duo to beat is Kyle and snooty top dancer April (Anabel Kutay). With the SwitchSteps on their team, can Ruby and Johnnie ace the competition with the performance of a lifetime? What do you think?

Final competition performanceFinal competition performanceCourtesy of Riviera Films

High Strung Trailer


Wrapping Up

You know the story, mega-talented, uptight and disciplined guy or gal meets free-spirited, moody, talented rebel and sparks fly. They learn something from one another that allows them both to succeed in some kind of final performance/showdown with high stakes. This is the basic plot of almost every dance/romance film out there.

Jane Seymour as Contemporary dance teacher OksanaJane Seymour as Contemporary dance teacher OksanaCourtesy of Riviera Films

In High Strung, with gorgeous and charming leads Keenan Kampa and Nick Galitzine onboard, the romance box is checked nicely but it is the amazing dance seen in the film that will blow your hair back. Presenting classical ballet, contemporary, hip-hop and Irish Riverdance style toe tapping in a wild mash-up that showcases the considerable talents of all the movie’s dancers is a brilliant idea and these young dancer/actors are more than up to the task. A violin “play-off” between the male lead and his rival is just as amazing as some of the beautiful solo work as well.

Keenan as Ruby with roomie Jazzy (Sonoya Mizuno)Keenan as Ruby with roomie Jazzy (Sonoya Mizuno)Courtesy of Riviera Films

You’ll come out of High Strung inspired and ready to dance or play or just plain create. We go four stars.

High Strung Movie Rating:4

High Strung PosterHigh Strung PosterCourtesy of Riviera Films

High Strung is in theaters now!

Have Your Say

Do you really get into dance movies with romance at the center? Are you hoping to one day make it in the arts? Tell us about it below.