Jack Cole’s arm coaches Rita Hayworth in “Amado Mio” from GILDA (1946)

Dance · Fashion · featured · Film

jack's arm with ritaFor the longest time, we have wondered whether the great choreographer Jack Cole (born in New Brunswick New Jersey, he got his start as a barefoot Denishawn [modern] dancer) worked with Rita Hayworth on her Latin-dance number, “Amado Mio” from GILDA (1946).

That choreography would be above and beyond his well-known creation of Rita’s seminal classy striptease, “Put the Blame on Mame,” in her noirish nightclub scene co-starring Glenn Ford.

“Amado” a gorgeous number set to a pulsating rhumba beat.

Evidence has finally surfaced in the form of a soundstage rehearsal photo with Rita dressed in her “Amado” costume … alas, a nasty photo crop, we only see Cole’s arm. Where is the rest of Jack Cole?? Dance detectives, please get on the case, let’s find this photo!

Rita sumptuously garbed in the Mother of all Sarong Skirts by Columbia Pictures costume designer, Jean Louis. What great dance wear!

Her loose hair reputedly Jack Cole’s idea. Rita Hayworth is all dancer in this sequence. She is saucy, sexual, confident. Someone did that to her. Jack Cole.

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God dances, courtesy of director Charles Walters, on TCM

Dance · featured · Film

Fred Astaire wants to be a dancin’ man in THE BELLE OF NEW YORK (1952). Do you think he succeeds?

Part of Turner Classic Movies Friday Night Spotlights devoted to the dancing movies, and more, of director Charles Walters.

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Mitzi Gaynor to “go on with the show!” @ “There’s No Business … ” screening

Dance · featured · Film

We are so looking forward to big screen viewing, on its 60th anniversary, of 20th Century-Fox’s star-studded Cinemascope colossus, THERE’S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS (1954) next Tuesday, Dec 9 at the Regent Theater.

[Everything you ever wanted to know about “There’s No Business” on this amazing webpage… ]

The musical, chock filled with great Irving Berlin songs and directed by Walter Lang, stars an ensemble cast, including Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Donald O’Connor, Mitzi Gaynor, Marilyn Monroe, Richard Eastham, and Johnnie Ray.marilynmonroe-lazy

The film score includes the title song There’s No Business Like Show Business sung by Ethel Merman, Heat Wave, performed by Marilyn Monroe, A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, and Play A Simple Melody.

Actress, singer, and dancer Mitzi Gaynor (My Blue Heaven, Anything Goes, and South Pacific) will appear at the screening in-person, interviewed by film critic Stephen Farber.

Looking forward to seeing Jack Cole’s good-taste-challenged “Heat Wave” number for Marilyn as well as his staging of “Lazy,” and “After You Get What You Want, You Don’t Want It.”

A fun backstage photo of the filming (below) reveals a super-young chorus boy George Chakiris seated way to the left — the camera catches him hanging out, happily, behind the main roster of stars in the movie. Chakiris hoofs as a featured dancer behind Mitzi in “A Sailor’s not a Sailor (til a Sailor’s Been Tatooed).”

Chakiris has even more traction in the historic making of “There’s No Business …” He was one of four men in the original “Heat Wave” number choreographed by Robert Alton. One fine day, Marilyn came onto the lot to see her number. She quietly thanked Alton and the dancers and left. The next day, Jack Cole started to create the current “Heat Wave,” alas replacing George and the Alton men with his own posse of killer male dancers, prominent among which the great Matt Mattox.

no business - george
L to R:  George Chakiris, Donald O’Connor, Mitzi Gaynor, (director) Walter Lang, Johnnie Ray, Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey and Marilyn Monroe.

THERE’S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS (1954) 60th Anniversary Screening: An Evening with Mitzi Gaynor | Tues, Dec 9, 7 pm Regent Theatre, Westwood Village | tickets

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‘Ivan the Wonderful’ fans the “Flames of Paris”

Dance · featured
Russia’s latest Sputnik-in-orbit, Ivan Vasiliev, swapped between adorable, formidable, and simply irresistible as French revolutionary “Philippe” in Mikhailovsky Ballet‘s production of “The Flames of Paris” tonight at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. It was a West Coast debut for the Mikhailovsky, an impressive second-tier player to Russia’s Bolshoi and Kirov ballets. High above the Segerstrom stage, Ivan soared and ...

Farewell, puppet man …

Film · Music · Theater
Sad news to hear that puppeteer Bob Baker (1924-2014) died today at 90 of natural causes. Baker, along with his partner Alton Wood, founded the Los Angeles-based Bob Baker Marionette Theater in 1963, the oldest and longest running children’s theater company. In June 2009, the theater was designated as a Los Angeles Historical-Cultural Monument. Baker’s puppetry was ...

Vince Paterson, “Birdcage” choreographer, remembers Mike Nichols 4

Dance · featured · Film
“I had the joy of working with Mike [Nichols] twice. First on “The Birdcage,” and then on “Closer,” I directed Natalie [Portman] and Clive [Owen] in some movement.” We were chatting with choreographer Vincent Paterson on the sad occasion of the death of director Mike Nichols. Paterson worked with Nichols on “The Birdcage,” creating on ...

Classical music meets Burmese art courtesy of Jacaranda

Architecture & Design · Music · Visual arts
A beautiful fundraiser had an unusual focus when Jacaranda, the decade-old Los Angeles contemporary classical music series, hosted an exquisite program of chamber music in a super-cool private home on a recent autumnal Sunday. Rarely viewed works of contemporary Burmese art lent visual, cultural, even political, impact to the event. Jacaranda board chairman Thomas Aujero ...

Review: L-E-V’s “House” of dance invention @ REDCAT

Dance · Reviews
Not since Dawn of the Dead did as stricken a posse of emaciated weirdos tromp before your eyes — all the better to experience, in real time, at REDCAT performance space. The stalwart black-box theater is rendered even more dark by Avi Yona Bueno’s gorgeously murky lighting design for “House,” choreographer Sharon Eyal’s futuristic ballet ...

Pre-Thanksgiving ballet weight gain @ Segerstrom Center

  This stunner of a high-attitude position, poised on a set of million-dollar legs comes from Mikhailovsky Ballet ballerina Veronika Ignatyeva, as Cupid, in “Flames of Paris.” The French Revolutionary ballet, first created in Stalinist Russia in 1932, will be on view Nov 28-30 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts over Thanksgiving weekend. The production, ...

High culture at the movies, courtesy of Laemmle Theatres

Dance · Film · Music · Theater · Visual arts
At the other end of the civilization spectrum from AFI Fest’s recent pepper-spray incident (ironic, isn’t it, that fisticuffs broke out at a screening of a new bio-pic about British painter William Turner), is the marvelous roll-out, now in its third month, of Laemmle Theatre’s “Culture Vulture Mondays.” The series is just one way that ...