Olympia (2012) – By Misty Layne

Olympia is another short film by Hisonni Johnson and Michael Sarnoski (also the co-creators of Fight Night Legacy) and honestly I couldn’t be more thrilled by it because it combines two of my favorite things – dance and mythology. How exactly does that work?

Olympia follows a young ranch girl named Harley (Caslin Rose), who dreams of more. She attends a dance audition at Olympia University and what follows ends up being much more than expected. Also, she can control the wind. Yeah, I know, it sounds like it wouldn’t work and to some it probably sounds a little cheesy but something about this ballerina meets mythology scenario just meshes. Again, these are two of my favorite things so I might have gotten extremely excited when I first saw this and I might have been a little squee so I might be a bit biased…

What really helps this story, is that the background story is tight. The film opens with the battle between man, Olympians and the Titans so the mythology is set. It continues throughout as Harley’s brother returns home after being away for a very long time. He’s on a journey to find his (and Harley’s) mother who left them when they were small. He is extremely interested in mythology and wears a necklace with a strange pendant on (the match of which he found in his journeys). At the audition, Harley overwhelms with her mad skills and a professor of ancient religion and mythology is eager to land her a dance scholarship. See where this is all going? Professor of mythology, brother on a search for his mom who is big into mythology? Now throw in a mischievous lad who seems to invite trouble but also seems to enjoy helping people out for a price (my theory is that he’s Loki but I could be wrong) who just happens to be 6,000 years old and you have a family mystery/coming of age that’s ripe with unconventions.

There are many more characters to be discovered in the fictitious Olympia and there’s a class struggle going on between the rich and the working class. This creates an interesting side plot but doesn’t exactly seem to fit into the story. There are also some scenes that played like they would’ve been better suited to younger characters. The main characters here (Harley, her brother, etc.) are college age (as evidenced by the university audition). There were a couple of moments, however, where the drama seemed a bit more high school than college.

Overall, I have to give Olympia a standing ovation for something that really is fresh and new. Sure, dancing’s been done a million times and mythology and superheroes are a dime a dozen but I’ve only ever seen the two mixed in one other show. I can’t wait to see if there’s more to come!

If you’d like to check out the trailer for the film, or find out about some of Hisonni Johnson and Michael Sarnoski’s other projects, you can visit the P3 Productions website here.