As announced last night on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA, production on the MTV/CTV television movie TURN THE BEAT AROUND is now underway in Toronto and Hamilton. Produced by Protocol Entertainment for MTV in association with CTV, the two-hour telefilm focuses on one girl’s struggle to realize her dreams – no matter how out of reach they may be. Starring SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA Season 1 competitor Romina D’Ugo in the lead role and choreographed by SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA judge Tré Armstrong, the cast also features Season 1 Top 4 finalists Miles Faber and Natalli Reznik, alongside Top 20 competitors Caroline Torti, Bre Wong and Tamina Pollack-Paris.
TURN THE BEAT AROUND features dance sequences combining cutting-edge hip hop with the sensual vibe of classic disco. The dance numbers are brought to life with a fresh soundtrack of remakes of classic disco songs by today’s hottest new artists, including Cobra Starship and Sing It Loud. The film also features a performance by recording artist Jason Derulo
“With the SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA talent, brilliant choreography, a energetic script and appealing characters, TURN THE BEAT AROUND tells a story that is the true embodiment of the diversity and power of dance,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “This coming-of-age story doesn’t miss a beat!”
TURN THE BEAT AROUND follows dancer Zoe Benjamin (Romina D’Ugo) who is determined not to end up like her mother — an ex-dancer from the disco era who didn’t have the drive to follow her own dreams. Zoe has dedicated herself to making it in the cutthroat L.A. scene. Along with her boyfriend Chris (Adam Taylor Brooks, 90210) and an assortment of friends, these young dancers spend their lives going from classes to auditions, waiting for that one break that will catapult them to fame.
When Zoe decides that, despite what people may say, disco is not dead, she sets out to bring it back to life by opening an old-school disco in downtown Los Angeles. Partnered up with a wealthy club impresario with whom she shares undeniable chemistry, Zoe soon learns that her relationships were not as strong as they may have seemed. When her personal and professional lives collide, Zoe finds herself caught between the club’s young owner, her dancer boyfriend and the sexy, ambitious choreographer (played by Brooklyn Sudano (90210), real life daughter of Disco Queen Donna Summer) she might be about to replace. Featuring classic disco music as well as some new and interesting twists on the hits, Turn the Beat Around is the story of one woman’s determination to follow her dream — no matter what the risks.
TURN THE BEAT AROUND also stars David Giuntoli (Without a Trace, Privileged), Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL), Shauna MacDonald (AARON STONE), David Keeley (TERRY), Jennifer Miller, Dewshane Williams (FLASHPOINT), Simin Aamin (FORBIDDEN SCIENCE), Kevin McGarry, Shawn Byfield (Hairspray), Ofilio Portillo, Natalie Krill (M.V.P.) and Raquel Gil-Jimenez.
Executive Producers are: Steve Levitan (KAYA) for Protocol Entertainment and Tony Krantz (WONDERLAND) for Flame Ventures. Bradley Walsh is director. Andrea Raffaghello (ZOS) is producer and Jessica Sharzer (Freud’s Magic Powder) is the writer. Tre Armstrong (SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA) is choreographer and Evan Bogart (Beyonce’s “Halo”) is music supervisor. Lisa Silfen, Chris Linn and Robin Palmer serve as executives for MTV. Brett Burlock is Director, Program Development for CTV. Susanne Boyce is President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc.
One of many major projects SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA competitors have been involved with, TURN THE BEAT AROUND is another great example of the success dancers have achieved since appearing on the show.
Nico Archambault, the winner of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA Season 1, has continued to build on his dance career and has also established himself as a choreographer, model and actor. Archambault will appear as the legendary ballet dancer Rudolph Nureyev in the upcoming Bravo! biopic Nureyev and makes an appearance in the pilot of the new /A\ series, THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE. In addition to the SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA Top 10 tour, he has also been on a national tour with his group Pinup Saints, was a presenter at the MuchMusic Video Awards and performed in the opera Starmania in Quebec City. Along with his creative partner Wynn Homes, Archambault formed the choreography company Street Parade and choreographed the 2009 Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill. Archambault is also set to star as a modern-day Johnny Castle in the new Family Channel film Vacation With Derek.
TURN THE BEAT AROUND star D’Ugo also has a supporting role in the feature film Funky Town with fellow Season 1 competitors Danny Arbour and Francis Lafrèniere, who will be performing choreography by SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA judge Jean Marc Genereux. Arassay Reyes has also dipped into the film industry with a role in SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA guest judge and choreographer Paul Becker’s film Sorority Wars along with Reznik and Pollack-Paris. Reyes will also be working with Becker as his choreographic assistant in the upcoming MGM movie, Cabin in the Woods.
In addition to acting, Season 1 competitors have performed with notable pop stars including Lady GaGa, Sarah McLachlan, K’naan, Deborah Cox and Danny Fernandez.