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  • The story of Maria Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes, giants and a legendary partnership in tango, is a fascinating one, as dramatic as a backstage musical or conflicts behind the scenes of any performing arts production and perhaps even more so. Despite being a dancing novice, there is something about the sexiness and fiery passion of the tango that is incredibly compelling to watch.

    'Our Last Tango', documenting the duo and even the history of the tango, is one of those experiences where one learns a lot from it, cannot look away and really feels something watching. Some of it is bittersweet with the recollections but it is also very sincere and delightful. It is a little more in favour towards Nieves than Copes, but not in a way that's biased, his straying evidently caused a lot of hurt and understandably put a strain on the partnership but 'Our Last Tango' hardly paints him as a villain. Copes actually doesn't come over as that bad a guy and is quite candid.

    Nieves is very personable, illuminating and entertaining when speaking, she can be grand-dame-like in her interactions with the dancers and choreographers when talking about mainly her technique and her personal life but one finds that endearing. It is very difficult to not shed a tear or two (perhaps more) when she recalls how strained the relationship got between them, one can sense that the memories are still painfully raw to her. Juan Malizia and Ayelen Alvarez Mino are very engaging, and their recreations of the duo's famous routines that helped popularise the dance exhilarate just as much as the real deal.

    What we are told in 'Our Last Tango' is beautifully written and insightful, not just on the duo but the tango itself and its history. It was wonderful too to see archive footage of classic moments and routines that did Nieves and Copes justice in choreography and the way they danced it. The double gaucho on the tiny table tops is enough to take the breath away.

    It is filmed very lovingly (especially the choreographic sections), paced beautifully (making the less than 90 minutes fly by) and the music exudes the necessary passion.

    Altogether, a sheer delight. 9/10 Bethany Cox
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "One Last Tango" recounts the (true) story of Maria Nieves Rega and Juan Carlos Copes, two professional Tango dancers who helped popularize it by taking it to the big stages in the world and thus make it known to audiences outside of the circles of Milongas (public Tango dance gatherings). They both met as teenagers and went on to dance professionally for 50 years, often and ultimately breaking up as a couple, but reconciling enough to keep on dancing professionally. Nieves speaks of this backdrop often as being instrumental in allowing her to carve out her own profile as the world's leading female Tango dancer as well as a woman of her own standing.

    It is a remarkable feat of this production to add an artistic element to an otherwise largely documentary piece of film by enacting some of the interplay between the original artists with younger dancers and expressing some of the narrated parts by way of supreme choreography in spectacular, but not out-of-genre venues/theaters/dance halls. The dynamic of the "limelight" colliding with the often difficult, if not somewhat tragic personal relationship among the protagonists provides a deeply emotional layer which becomes all the more apparent through Nieves' replies to the interviewers. (the young dancers take on a double function as artists and interviewers as well). It almost appears as if the difficult personal life fuelled the passion between the dancers and their performances, where the latter are thrilling to watch - to this day. The movie's references to Gene Kelly and according film snippets don't feel inappropriate at all in their grace, athleticism and artistry.

    One of the very poignant, moving bits is seeing both dancers still staying true to their life's passion by having continued to dance professionally into their older ages (she is 81, he is 84, both still appear on stages and with much younger dancing partners).

    Cinematography, pace of the movie, the interviews, light and ambience, the architecture of the dancing venues and overall settings, the contrast between public and personal life and the younger dance ensemble paying tribute to their icons make this movie an all time favorite for me (and I'm not even a dancer, but feel compelled to give it a go after seeing this). I have a feeling that anyone with a general appreciation for music, the arts, dance is likely to spend quality time watching this one.