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TAKE THE LEAD
USA: New Line Cinema
UK: Entertainment Film Distributors
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Rob Brown, Yaya DaCosta, Dante Basco, John Ortiz, Laura Benanti, Marcus T Paulk, Jenna Dewan, Alfre Woodard, Katya Virshilas, Ray Liotta, Lyriq Bent, Brandon Andrews, Jo Chim, Lauren Collins, Elijah Kelley, Jonathan Malen, Shawand McKenzie, Brianna Nagy, Jasika Nicole, Marc Gagne
Director: Liz Friedlander
USA & UK: 117 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for thematic material, language and some violence
UK Certificate: 12A contains moderate language and hard drug references
USA Release Date: 7 April 2006
UK Release Date: 14 April 2006
Antonio Banderas stars in TAKE THE LEAD, a drama inspired by the true story of Pierre Dulaine, an inspirational Manhattan dance teacher and competitor who volunteers his time to teach ballroom dancing to a diverse group of New York inner-city high school students serving detention.
The students are initially skeptical of Dulaine, especially when they learn what he's there to teach them, but his unwavering commitment and dedication slowly inspire them to embrace his program. In fact, they even take it one step further and combine Dulaine's classical dance with their unique hip-hop style and music to create a high-energy, unique fusion. As Dulaine becomes a mentor for his students, many of whom haven't had much to strive towards in their lives, he inspires them to hone their craft for a prestigious city ballroom competition, and in return they share with each other valuable lessons about pride, respect and honor.
Joining Antonio Banderas in the talented ensemble cast are Rob Brown (COACH CARTER, FINDING FORRESTER), Yaya DaCosta (UPN's TOP MODEL), Dante Basco (BIKER BOYZ), John Ortiz (NARC) Laura Benanti (NINE), Marcus T Paulk (UPN's MOESHA), Jenna Dewan (TAMARA), and Alfre Woodard (BEAUTY SHOP, ABC's DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES).
TAKE THE LEAD marks the feature film debut of veteran music video and commercial director Liz Friedlander (who has helmed videos for numerous artists including Joss Stone, U2, Blink 182 and Simple Plan). The film is written by Dianne Houston and produced by Diane Nabatoff, Michelle Grace and Christopher Godsick. The executive producers are Toby Emmerich, Matt Moore, Mark Kaufman, Ray Liotta and Mathew Hart.
The behind-the-scenes creative team includes cinematographer Alex Nepomniaschy, production designer Paul Denham Austerberry, editor Robert Ivison, costume designer Melissa Toth, music by Aaron Zigman and Swizz Beatz, choregrapher JoAnn Jansen and hip-hop choreography from Rich and Tone Talauega.