"Five Dances," one of my favorite films at the GLBT film fest, is a sweet and sensitive coming of age story that also showcases amazing dancing by choreographer Jonah Bokaer and cinematography by Derek McKane.
Writer/director Alan Brown introduces us to Chip Daniel (Ryan Steele) who manages to get away from his dependent mother and Midwestern life style to come to New York to dance. Chip may be a bit backwoods when it comes to city life - but his tremendous talent as a dancer help him fit in and even get a few spotlight dances in the small dance troupe he joined.
Steele is a great dancer - having already made an impression on Broadway in musicals like "Newsies." He offers that gift in abundance to the film's audience. But he also opens up and shows a very vulnerable young man who is trying to come to terms with his homosexuality as he surrounds himself to other gay people who are open about their sexuality namely Reed Luplau.
The two make an interesting screen duo: Steele as a dancer more talented than he even realizes yet troubled as he tries to stay in the closet mixed with Luplau who is relaxed and comfortable on his own skin and yet may not have star potential as a dancer. The pairing of the two makes for tension on the dance floor and in the bedroom and they have great chemistry together.
In fact, the main cast of five also have great rapport together and seem well balanced. They are as good as an acting ensemble as they are a dance company, each having moments that go beyond the dance.
Brown keeps the movie tight and brisk and successfully blends great dance with a beautiful story. Not completely satisfying at the end, but still a wonderful movie to seek out. It would make a great double feature with last year's "Test," another GLBT movie propelled by great dance sequences.
The movie is available VOD and will be on DVD July 29. Get the DVD and more information at www.wolfevideo.com.