In the wake of tragedy, a renowned New York dance company is on the brink of collapse. After leaving the dance world for good, Travis (Patrick Swayze), Chrissa and Max are pulled in to resurrect the dance that shattered th... more »eir careers. They have one last chance to save the company, re-connect with the passion and magic, and prove that miracles really can happen.« less
Jean W. from JORDANVILLE, NY Reviewed on 6/3/2011...
Some really great dancing in this movie which makes up for some of the rather stiff acting.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
"A Celebration of the Human Body in Motion"
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 08/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So few films have been made about the dance world, and this one captures the heart of it, with the insane hours of hard work, the sweat, and the frayed egos. The plot of "One Last Dance" is based on "Without a Word," a play Patrick Swayze and his wife Lisa Neimi created many years ago. It is a wisp of a story, mostly about the emotions and conflicts of 3 dancers who are past their performance peak, returning to the stage for a benefit gala, to face their fears and the relationships they left behind.
Writer/director/actress and dancer Neimi, who has an inner and outer beauty so lovely to watch, has put "One Last Dance" together on a shoestring budget, with tremendous skill and a marvelous cast. The company dancers are superb, with a technical virtuosity in many styles, from traditional to the most contemporary. George de la Pena plays Max Delano, one of the 3 leads, and will be remembered from his days with the American Ballet Theater and on Broadway, and is dynamic both as a dancer and an actor. Other standouts include Matthew Walker as Alex McGrath, a sadistic choreographer, and Stefan Wenta as Orest, a poetic teacher who is an inspiration to all. Patrick Swayze as Travis is a marvel, with the athleticism and energy of someone half his age.
The wonderful score is by Stacy Widelitz, with non-original music that ranges from Beethoven's 7th Symphony, to a cameo by Daniel Heifetz (grandson of the legendary Jascha Heifetz) as a street violinist. The cinematography by Albert Dunk is terrific on the dance sequences, which sometimes have a touch of surrealism using smoke and other effects, and there are some magnificent overhead crane shots. Dance is not an easy thing to film, and in "One Last Dance" we have scenes that are spectacular. The interesting and sometimes inspired choreography is by Alonzo King, Dwight Rhoden, Doug Varone, and Patsy Swayze (Patrick's mother).
As someone who spent 2 decades of my life immersed in the world of dance, I appreciate the authenticity of this film, and the excellence of its performers. It is sure to become a film classic for dancers and those who love to watch them. DVD extras include a "behind the scenes" piece, and commentary by Patrick and Lisa. Total running time is 100 minutes. "
NOT a movie to miss!
Anita | 09/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Patrick Swayze is a man of many talents. He is an exceptional actor, dancer, and singer. I purchased this movie solely because he was in it. :) However, I was VERY pleasantly surprised that there was so much more to this movie! The storyline was wonderful. Very little dialog is needed. The story of three dancers returning to the dance world is told through their dancing. It was intriguing to watch the 40 something year olds dance their hearts out, often along side the 20 something year olds. I would love to watch "The Company" dance together in person... if that were only possible. They all meshed together extremely well. Lisa Neimi did a wonderful job. Her ability to dance, act, and direct is stunning. George de la Pena's acting and dancing skills were breath taking as well.
Don't watch this movie with your eyes only, FEEL it through your heart and soul!"
A labor of love
Sarah Olivia | United States | 11/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is not without flaws--the dialogue and acting occasionally seem flat, recycled storylines, melodrama, etc., yet I am a sucker for dance movies and loved it nonetheless. It's pretty obvious from the get-go that Travis and Chrissa are soul mates destined to reconnect after seven years of separation and misunderstandings. When Alex, the emotionally abusive director of a New York Dance Company, goes too far with his criticisms (this is the point where I'd like to introduce people of Alex's bent to the wonders of Dale Carnegie in helpfully motivating people), three dancers' lives are redirected. Chrissa has a nervous breakdown (we later learn that she was newly pregnant during this scene, so horomones and stress contributed to her break) while Travis (injured from overexertion) can do little to comfort her besides telling off Alex. Max, the other member of the pas de trois, carries off a sobbing and temporarily deranged Chrissa to the nearest mental health hospital. (The three dancers were days away from premiering a pas de trois dance before this misfortune interrupts them.) Travis wrongfully assumes that Chrissa hasn't contacted him because she wants her space and wants him out of her life (he doesn't realize she had been hospitalized). Chrissa, meanwhile, is hurt that Travis hasn't inquired after her and therefore, keeps her pregnancy a secret from him. Max is the middle man, and seven years later, he is instrumental in reconnecting the estranged lovers when the struggling company decides to resurrect the Pas de Trois.
Yes, the plot is the stuff of soap operas, but it has heart, and the real-life love between Patrick Swayze (Travis) and his wife, Lisa Niemi (Chrissa), is palpable on-screen. Also, I can always empathize with someone who is experiencing a breakdown of sorts (read my Fred Luskin's "Forgive for Good" and Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar" reviews for an insider's perspective on what an awful experience this is). In addition, I appreciate this movie's undercurrent theme: move beyond the negative voices we've picked up through the years.
Swayze and Niemi are no longer twentysomethings, yet they hold their own in this physically demanding art form. They dance beautifully.
In the behind-the-scenes special feature, Swayze said that this production hired four choreographers to represent the latest happenings in the dance world. I loved the choreography and the dancing--it was breathtaking and innovative. I was thrilled to see some of the very same dancers in this movie who have graced the covers of Dance and Pointe magazines. The dancers said that they felt like they really were members of the movie's dance company and that there was a spirit of collaboration and non-competitiveness as well as a suspension of ego during filming. One dancer said that he and the other dancers could easily and happily tour the movie's original dances to (he confidentally believed) great acclaim."
Bibliomaniac | Coastal Carolina | 08/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No, it's not "Dirty Dancing;" this film is about real, classical dancing that is a joy to watch. Patrick Swayze, Lisa Neimi, and George de la Pena are brilliant dancers and bring the somewhat thin, yet still moving story to life. The company of supporting dancers is excellent, and the film shows the realities of a life of back-breaking work with few rewards lived mostly 'for the love of the game.' A tribute to true beauty, the final dance sequence is breathtaking."
Just for the dancing
Meriam Matthews | Lake Toxaway, North Carolina USA | 08/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Patrick Swayze and his real-life wife, Lisa Niemi, are stunning to watch as they dance, either together or in individual practice or in groups. This is lovely, breathtaking dancing coming from "older" folks. As usual, Swayze is poetry in motion and proves once again how very versatile an actor he is. (Who else can play a believable drag queen, a classical ballet/jazz dancer, dramatic roles and villains?) Lisa Niemi has remarkable grace and flexibility for her age and her acting is passable.
But the plot is lame and a little more attention could have been paid to making it less ordinary; that is the only complaint. As an aside, the cover photo on the DVD case never happens in the film.
George de la Pena, the co-star dancer, is just fabulous. In fact, all the dancers are a joy to watch. If you love the Dance, you will enjoy this film. If you want a good plot, look elsewhere."