A labor of love for writer-director Lisa Niemi and her husband, Patrick Swayze, this story of aging dancers is flawed but heartfelt.
Revered choreographer Alex McGrath (Matthew Walker) inspired generations of dancers, but after his death it appears that his company will be forced to disband. The artistic director invites three former principal dancers -- embittered Travis MacPhearson (Patrick Swaize), who was forced to stop dancing by a knee injury, high-strung Chrissa Lindh (Lisa Niemi) and Max Delano (former American Ballet Theater star George De La Pena) -- to perform at a benefit for the company. All three have left the dance world: Travis owns a chain of fitness centers, Chrissa performs in retro vaudeville troupe and Max gives school seminars. And the piece they've been asked to perform, McGrath's Without a Word, holds bad memories for all of them. Choreographed seven years earlier, it damaged all of them: The emotionally fraught rehearsal period drove Chrissa to a nervous breakdown and destroyed Max and Travis' friendship; in the end, all three walked away from dancing and Without a Word was never performed. But though they're also all in their 40s -- ancient in dance-world terms -- they return for one last dance, hoping the mend relationships and rediscover, however briefly, the sheer joy dancing once gave them.
Swayze bagan his career as a dancer and met Niemi when she was studying with his mother, noted Texas dance teacher and choreographer Patsy Swayze. Though the script is melodramatic and sometimes awkward, the insider's perspective gives it an emotional authenticity missing from manyt dance-related films.
Alonzo King, Dwight Rhoden, Patsy Swayze, and Doug Varone.
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- Released: 2005
- Rating: NR
- Review: A labor of love for writer-director Lisa Niemi and her husband, Patrick Swayze, this story of aging dancers is flawed but heartfelt. Revered choreographer Alex McGrath (Matthew Walker) inspired generations of dancers, but after his death it appears that… (more)