DVD Review - Five Dances

Ryan Steele (low) and Reed Luplau (high)
perform ballet in "Five Dances"
An 18-year-old, male, ballet dancer is one of five performers, including the choreographer who prepare in a New York City studio for an upcoming show. Writer-director Alan Brown shows the practices, reveals bits of their personal lives, and interrupts with dance performances, presumably from the upcoming show. The title indicates how many performances will be displayed. All the performances are well-choreographed and all five dancers are pretty excellent on their toes.

Ryan Steele stars as Chip, the 18-year-old in question. He's quiet, not very talkative. He's a bit shy but went to military school. He's vegan and a virgin. He's gay and he's homeless. He was kicked out of the place he was staying and now sleeps on the streets. Once he gets into ballet practice, he realizes he can stay late and crash at the dance studio.

Brown does a good job of presenting this character. Yet, similarly to his movie Private Romeo, Brown seems more concerned with the classical material being performed by mostly young, sexy boys than really developing anything else. The four other dancers aren't really developed all that much. Brown perhaps believes that the glimpses of the four is enough.

Our first glimpse is into Katie, played by Catherine Miller. She's more or less just a vehicle to get Chip talking about himself. The same could be said about Theo, played by Reed Luplau. He's also gay, and he can aggressively pursue potential boyfriends, but the only other thing we learn is that he's Australian and he likes coffee.

Our last glimpse is into Cynthia, played by Kimiye Corwin. The only thing we learn about her is that she's having an affair with their tough choreographer Anthony, played by Luke Murphy. She cheats on her husband with a man who is emotionally unavailable, and we never learn why. Brown never provides any context or follow-up. He merely throws the affair out there and that's it.

Brown then ends his movie on a long montage of Chip and Theo in the studio having a nice, romantic night. There's no resolution of the conflict we get of Chip's homelessness and pressure to go back home to his desperate mother. There's no resolution of the outcome of the show that they've been practicing. It doesn't end. The movie simply stops.

Two Stars out of Five.
Not Rated but for mature audiences.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 23 mins.


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