|Michael A. Maynez|
"Dance With Me"
“Saturday Night Fever”, it is not, but who cares when you have the sexiest pair of dancers on the screen, Vanessa L. Williams and Chayanne, (He making his debut and what a debut). They are pure magic as they ignite their dancing with a steaminess and torridness we haven’t experience in the movies for quite sometime. The salsa beat, the tango, the desire to keep dancing long after the credits are gone. “Dance With Me” delivers in all its dances.
She is a jaded dance instructor, in training for the Las Vegas competition and an eleven-year-old son to raise as a single mother. Kris Kristofferson, as the owner and at one time a great dancer of the seedy Excelsior Dance Studio has lost the love for dancing and would rather be fishing at the end of a lonely pier. We soon discover that Chayanne is his son from a past laison and the two men have to come to grips with that situation. In the meantime Vanessa is enjoying the salsa and Latin beat with Chayanne on the dance floor. She realizes that to win in the competition, she must get it together with her former dance partner, as he is the epitome of egomaniacal perfect dancer, played by Rick Valenzuela and he squeezes the juices of his character to the limits, making you hate him, but seeing his obvious talent.
The surprises in this flick are many and one of the most pleasant is Joan Plowright, she has a most unbelievable role of a senior contestant in this dance carnival and she revels in it. The movie is directed by Randa Haines, (She gave us “Children of a Lesser God”.) Many people find that hard to believe, that she would direct a romantic dance musical, but she has and than some. No, it is not the Australian “Ballroom Dancing”, nor for that matter the cultural clashing Japanese, “Shall We Dance”, but it has a spirit of its own and if you enjoy dancing, well COME DANCE WITH ME.
Dance With Me
Vanessa L. Williams ----- Ruby Sinclair
Chayanne --------------- Rafael Infante
Kris Kristofferson ------- John Burnett
Jane Krakowski -------- Patricia
Beth Grant ------------- Lovejoy
Joan Plowright --------- Bea Johnson
Directed by -------------- Randa Haines
Produced by ------------- Lauren C. Weissman, Shinya Egawa, Randa Haines
Written by --------------- Daryl Matthews
Director of photography -- Fred Murphy
Music by ---------------- Michael Convertino
Executive music producers -- Joel Sill, Budd Carr
Production Design by ---- Waldemar Kalinowski
Costume Design by -------- Joe I. Tompkins
Edited by ----------------- Lisa Fruchtman