In the 1975 Broadway musical A Chorus Line, there is a scene where one of the main characters, Cassie, is asked by the director why she is still trying out for the chorus when she has been a lead. She answers tellingly, “I’m a dancer. A dancer dances.”
Felicie, the heroine of Leap!, would understand. Felicie is an orphan in an orphanage in Brittany in nineteenth-century France. The only thing she has left from her mother is a beautiful music box with a ballerina dancing in it. She dreams of escaping the orphanage and becoming a great ballerina. Her best friend Victor also dreams of escaping the orphanage. He dreams of becoming a great inventor.
Victor rigs up a device to fly away from the orphanage. It doesn’t quite work, but it lands them in a truck headed to Paris for a farmer’s market. Upon their arrival in Paris, Felicie and Victor get split up, but they stay in touch and help support each other as they navigate their way through their new situations and towards their dream.
Felicie wanders into the Academie National des Artes, where she sees a great ballerina before getting mistaken for a thief and nearly arrested. This simply reminds Felicie of her dream of becoming a great ballerina. Meanwhile, she winds up getting attached to a cleaning lady with a cane.
Victor, meanwhile, has hooked on as an apprentice to a sculptor who is making a large statue to send to America. While at work, he continues to work on his wings.
After a lot of training and hard work, Felicie winds up competing against the daughter of a very wealthy patron of the arts for the privilege of playing Clara in a production of The Nutcracker. Both are asked why they dance. Felicie answers that she dances because it’s what she has wanted to do since she was a little girl; it’s how she expresses herself. It’s her dream.
A confrontation ensues with the other girl’s mother, who is determined that her daughter must have the part. Eventually, she is saved by Victor’s flying wings. His invention is working!
Leap! is about dreams. It’s about pursuing your dream at all costs, about surrendering and working to achieve that which is yours to do, about following that which drives you, no matter what it takes to get there.
Leap! is sweet, fun, adventuresome, and inspiring. You will not regret spending a little while in this world. I highly recommend it. Inspire yourself and go see Leap!