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Dancing to marvel at
on 3 March 2009
The European 'Dutch' Region 2 DVD does not have the extras of the American release which apparently explain the background to the story, nevertheless this film is a joy to own and view at last. I own quite a few Patrick Swayze films and his dancing ability has always fascinated me as I love traditional and modern ballet. 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 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. Lisa is touching as a gifted dancer who suffered a burnout and although still mentally fragile is bravely returning to the dance world she loves.
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, he performed with the American Ballet Theatre 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 final dance sequence with the three leads is thrilling to watch and very moving.