Our favorite movie heroes, like Patrick Swayze, deserve a look back now and then at their most brilliant films, though some are perhaps less well known. One Last Dance is Patrick Swayze at his best and his most complete.
One Last Dance is the story of three retired dancers and past friends, two of whom split from their love of each other and never reunited. Their old performing dance studio troupe is in trouble through a series of tragedies and is facing the possibility of closing its doors. The director develops a desperate plan and that is to rejuvenate a master dance from past years. In order to perform this masterpiece, the three estranged friends—Travis (Patrick Swayze), Chrissa (Lisa Niemi, Swayze’s wife) and Max (George De La Pena)—must be reunited to perform the dance—they are the only ones who know it and the only ones who can possibly make it work.
The three come together after seven years apart to once again master the masterpiece. As they dance—and all three actors are gods on the boards—they reawaken fears, injuries, trials, betrayals, unresolved falling outs, unfaced demons, heartaches, new anxieties, new fears. In other words, they find themselves face to face with the fame they used to have, with young dancers who have new fame, with others’ expectations of survival hanging on their performance: They come face to face with their past, their present and their future all at one stroke.
Patrick Swayze was the son of choreographer Patsy Swayze who taught dance in Houston, Texas. Patrick met his wife Lisa Niemi when she was 15 years old and a dancer at his mother’s studio. They married in 1975 and have remained happily devoted to each other until his passing. Patrick Swayze learned dance from his mother and then, after college, studied at the Harkness Ballet School and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York.
To see Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi dance together in One Last Dance is a magical event; they both move like the wind in the trees and are as fluid as water in a river pouring over rocks. George De La Pena is a perfect complement to the partnership of Swayze and Niemi as his talent is equal to their own. They make a breathtaking trio.
The resolution of One Last Dance comes only after their three souls are unburdened and bared and the art repressed seven years earlier is released and set in splendid, spectacular motion to dance that One Last Dance.
Lisa Niemi – Director (2003)
Lisa Niemi – Writer
Patrick Swayze – Travis MacPhearson
Lisa Niemi – Chrissa Lindh
George De La Pena - Max Delano
Note: George De La Pena, now Associate Professor at The University of Iowa, was a lead dancer with the American Dance Company and had studied at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet where he worked with choreographers like George Balanchine and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Buy One Last Dance at Amazon Soar with Patrick Swayze, Lisa Niemi and George De La Pena, available at Amazon.