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Flashdance, based on the film, is a stage based re-imagining that leaves viewers spellbound. The stage performance is almost at its third decade in and just wrapped up their twenty-seventh anniversary with the announcement of a West End premiere. Tom Hedley, writer of both the screenplay and the theatrical performance relates the birth of Flashdance to a common sight of his artist friend. His friend found still nude female studies boring and dated. He wanted movement, activity, and life in his art. So he brought Hedley with him to a corner bar he frequented that featured his preferred models. He explained that the dancers, or Flashdance girls, were not strippers, but would have no problems with nudity if it made sense to their performance. They designed their own clothes and costumes, going so far as to drill holes in translucent high heels to house goldfish in the heels. There were his models, and as Hedley looked on, he saw the pulse of a culture at the time. He notes that with the looming close of mills and refineries, the dream these girls had of a blue-collar existence after wrenching as much life out of the night as possible, would soon dry up before they could touch on it. He was enamored by their dedication to their craft, and could empathize with their emotions. They knew the end was drawing near and they were doing their best to enjoy life and hopefully enter a Dance Academy before everything in their lives went sour and they came back to the reality of marrying a blue-collar worker up the road. The show is unique for its take on solo choreography and singing being second to the reality of the girls’ situations.

 

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