Projections - Movie Reviews

Dance With Me

In an early scene, Ruby (Vanessa L. Williams) nearly loses the top of her dress.  The anticipation of every man in the room is smashed when Rafael (Chayanne) saves her by pulling up the zipper.  Dance With Me is equally frustrating and disappointing.

Lacking the courage to be simple as an independent film and failing to provide the excitement of a dance spectacular, Dance With Me spends an inordinate amount of time on a lack luster romance and in-your-face paternity identification.

Joan Plowright is a bright light as Bea, an elderly dance student who knows when to laugh and sees Rafael's assets right from the beginning.  Chayanne, the international Hispanic music star, is not particularly effective in scenes with Williams, but he sparkles with a quiet sensuality.  He and Patricia (Jane Krakowski) perform a show-stopping number in the theater arts competition.  Everything works well when they are together.

The music in the clubs and the dancing by the average folks is exciting.  In comparison, the competition dancing appears stilted and without soul.  Williams works hard with her many       routines but the professionals who play her competition clearly outshine her.  The soundtrack, which is a mix of Latin and Afro-Cuban music, is filled with excitement and lends itself to the dance atmosphere.

The story, which drags the film down, focuses on Rafael who moves to Texas from Cuba when his mother dies.  John Burnett (Kris Kristofferson) offers to take in the young Cuban to work at the Excelsior Dance Studio in Houston.  Rafael falls for Ruby but she has other plans.  In the end, it all irons out at the competition.

Dance With Me


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