The key to understanding this movie is that it is completely based on unspoken dialogue. Thus, it crosses boundaries in cinema genres and defies categorization.
Through Altman's brilliant artistic direction, the audience is left to put the puzzle together, and piece the story together. Those who had watched 'Center Stage', and eagerly anticipated 'The Company' would have to watch this recent film with an entirely different frame of mind.
In 'Center Stage', the plot was convulated and sickeningly predictable topped with a script that is filled with deliberate dialogue that points out every plot twist and turn. The audience is TOLD what is happening and why through the characters' script. Conversely, 'The Company' makes a convincing attempt to create a realistic story, which is following a company's (yes, clichéd as it may be) trials and tribulations throughout a year. Realistic script and subtle details in exquisite camerawork result with the audience filling in the blanks and filling out the plot.
The fullness and richness of the plot is left to the audience to decipher from the details in 'The Company', unlike most dance movies that cater to a lazy mind. It helps to realise that the point of 'The Company' is to create an accurate portayal of the dance world, not a chick flick drama juxtaposed over the dance world.