ONE LAST DANCE appears to be a film for dancers, either active or retired, wannabees or romanticists. There is some terrific Brazilian influenced music from Stacy Widelitz that enhances much of the corps dancing and some beautiful moments of cinematography making the most of a bare ballet studio rehearsal hall - both of which add what dreaminess this low budget film has to offer.Written and directed and produced and acted by Lisa Niemi the story involves the return to the boards by three retired dancers (Lisa Niemi, Patrick Swayze, George de la Pena - all three are dancers in real life) to pay homage to the gifts of a highly regarded yet now dead choreographer. The three left dancing seven years prior to the story for personal reasons, mostly involving lack of confidence and personal issues that affected each tangentially. They return to a company to perform a dance by the dead choreographer and the rest of the slim story is how these out of shape hoofers regain the healing magic of dancing.The corps of ballet dancers assembled for this film is exceptionally fine for a pickup group: Rasta Thomas, Desmond Richardson, Kathryn Bradney, Tai Jiminez, Bambi Swayze, Jamie Bishton, Stephanie Slater, Heather Thompson, Dwight Rhoden and Yosuke Mino deserve special mention. The scenes of dancing vary depending on the choreography of each of four artists - Alonzo King, Dwight Rhoden, Patsy Swayze, and Doug Varone. But in the end to be less than a documentary about the rigors and rewards of dancing there must be a well-acted story based on a sensitive script and that is where the film is shaky and a bit self indulgent. Swayze, Niemi, de la Pena take the roles as far as they go, but in the end the story is much ado about very little.Yet there is some gorgeous dance work well filmed that will satisfy even the most particular critic. The DVD added features include some insights into the difficulty and final rewards of bringing ONE LAST DANCE to the screen, and in these comments there is more story than that found in the script. Grady Harp
I'm sure a lot of dancers saw this and hated it, but this movie is not going to relate to young dancers today. It's a movie for the dancers of the "old school". 20 years ago, when we were coming up through the ranks, it was a lot different than it is now. It's about what it was to be a dancer with a dedication and discipline beyond what people think it means today. And how is can obsess and destroy and how sometimes one can overcome the "demons" for the pure love of dancing.The story is about the reunion of 3 dancers who are asked to perform a particular work that, for varying reasons, ended their careers.Lisa Neimi wrote and directed this movie...she is the only director yet who actually knows how to direct a dance film. You are FINALLY able to see the dancing, not just weird fast cuts to keep heads reeling and people's short attention spans. The writing is very good and captures what dancers go through. George de la Pena is still a wonderful dancer and Patrick Swayze is really incredible. Sorry to all the nay sayers who can't appreciate this movie. I loved it. I thought it was brilliantly filmed and acted...and although some of the dialog may come across as trite, you would have had to live the life of years ago to get it. I'm talking about a time when a person was so dedicated, so disciplined that they would do anything, overcome anything to make their dreams happen and sometimes almost destroying themselves in the process.
The movie is delicate and the choreography's are amazing. It might not be perfect but many people vote it without any dance knowledge.I loved to see that she used Brazilian music, which is great. Also the courage of Lisa Niemi to produce this movie with a very low budget deserves a lot of credit. Fortunately I could find it here in Brazil and appreciate it. I hope it gets everywhere so people that loves dance can see a very nice movie that goes a little bit different from the many clichés of struggle beginners.The scene where they are warm up and the fog starts, really gives us the impression that the entire room is boiling.It is a pity that we cannot see the complete choreography of Without a Word. That was the only promise that the movie did not accomplished.
Patrick Swayze can be compared to the likes of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly--he can dance AND act! Many of us who are Patrick,Lisa, and George's "chronological" peers love them for their unbelievable dance ability; but we may hate them for being in such great shape! How refreshing to see a movie about dance that showed splendid dancing-and lots of it. I'm so tired of movies that just "touch" on dance and delve into the sob-story, high hormonal problems of teen dancers. One of the things I appreciated about this movie was that it was sensual but not sexual. Really, everything is NOT about sex.My ONLY gripe is some of the language-I'd like to show this movie to some young people who are just starting to dance, because of the focus on FEELING the dance. I'll wager that many young dancers that show up on unnamed TV shows couldn't keep up with Patrick, Lisa, and George AND do it with the grace and style that the three of them exhibited. Give us more please!
Patrick, Lisa, and George are simply amazing. If you love anything to do with dancing, you MUST see this movie. The cast is brilliant, the dancing is magical. Words cannot express the beauty, chemistry of this movie. There are movies and then there are brilliant movies and to me in my opinion, this is a brilliant movie. It captivated my attention, I felt emotion through the dancing and acting. Wonderful. The storyline is well put together and the actors have such wonderful chemistry together. This is not a movie where people just dance, it is what they love. You can feel and see the passion in what they are doing. Its one thing to act but its another to have passion in your acting and dancing. I highly recommend this movie.