Girl Walk // All Day

America: that land of opportunity, a world where you can achieve whatever you set your heart to. No city better symbolises this American dream like New York. It was the first place that immigrants would see when arriving in this new world from Europe and beyond. As such, it has become a melting pot of different ethnicities and a symbol of America. ‘The girl’ (Anne Marsen) is drawn to New York by a dream, by an ideology, after she is thrown out of her traditional ballet class because she becomes overwhelmed by modern urban street dancing. The plot is that she is pursued by a ‘creep’ (John Doyle)  who we assume has some romantic attraction to the girl as he ends up having a ‘dance off’ with the ‘gentleman’ (Dai Omiya) who has been courted by the girl. Despite both their desires to win her heart eventually they realise they have a greater love: dance, and they put their conflict aside to try and help the girl achieve her dream.

The fairly thin plot allows for the dancing to be the focal point of this film. The technical skill shown by the various dances is astonishing. Whatever their medium of dance is… whether it be ballet, krumping, street dancing or even pole dancing, every move and routine is executed with the upmost skill and, more importantly, enthusiasm. Their energy jumps out of the screen and makes the viewer feel equally alive and full of vitality. The soundtrack, by Gregg Gillis, is a mash-up of music old and new, with songs from David Bowie and the Beatles, contrasted against modern beats from Lady Gaga, Kesha, Beyoncé and Lil Wayne, to name a few. The soundtrack beautifully complements the dancing and the scenery. As well as having such a verity of tunes seamlessly blended so satisfy everyone’s tastes.

The organisers said they wanted this film to be “a love letter to the city” of New York and once you strip away the beauty and technical skill of music and dancing, which is exactly what it is. Some of the shots are stunning, highlighting the magnitude and splendour of this great city. The film, though following these three dancers takes us to all the main sights in New York, beginning with the Bowling Green the oldest public park in New York and ending in a dance over and under some of Central Park’s famous bridges. On the way, we travel from the Brooklyn Bridge to 5th Avenue, from the Apple Store to the Village and from the Statue of Liberty to Wall Street.

The underlining idea is the girl’s dream to get the world to dance, she tries everything from catching strangers on the street to wearing a sandwich-board with “dance with me” written in different languages on it . Slowly but surely her dream begins to come into effect. Different people from different background begin to dance. We see some of these groups though out the film, from the oriental fan dancers, to the street Dancers of Beat Club and the strangers on the street who try to replicate Beyoncé’s iconic ‘Single Ladies’ routine. Despite this, the girl begins to think she will never get everyone to dance. The final scene is set to the John Lennon’s Imagine, a song about people in the world coming together under the banner of peace. In the film the girl’s dream becomes a reality as the people of New York come together to dance. New York contains such a verity of races, ages and backgrounds, all of these represented in the final group of dancer, who not only embody New York but the world. As they dance into the night, as does the world. It all culminates in a highly emotive final scene where joy and togetherness combine illuminated with sparklers.

A feature length music video sounds incredibly dull, especially to a tone-deaf melophobe like me. The truth is it did not keep me glued to my seat but it had me dancing round the room. The energy and passion is infectious. The music gets under your skin and the combination of all the sights and sounds makes you want to jump up off your seat and dance. By the end of the film I felt part of it, I felt part of the group who were dancing in central park, I felt happy.  The girl in her travels meets a group of orthodox Jews who ask her why she is dancing, she replies because she is happy and a Jew tells her “you should always be happy”. This is a feel-good movie, a music video that make you jump around with joy, sing alone with enthusiasm and tap your foot with happiness. I suggest anyone who is feeling low to watch the last chapter of the film and it will lift you to new heights of happiness. If you like dancing, if you like music and if you like New York, this is the film for you, and if you don’t then this film will make you realise you should. It is triumph, this film shows us the physical apparition of joy though the skill of the dancers.

By Jenny Anderton


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