What caused these two dancers, each bringing his own qualities and characteristics, to meld and synergize into a ballistic dance unit known as The Nicholas Brothers?
Sly Stone said it best: “It’s a family affair.”
This was the implicit message delivered across an incredibly fun Sunday evening spent with the two handsome and talented gentlemen — on the left the great Harold NIcholas, at right, his big brother by seven years, Fayard Nicholas.
Scions Tony and Paul Nicholas appeared graciously and dancing granddaughters Cathie and Nicole hoofed winningly to live music by Chester Whitmore and the Opus One Orchestra.
Kudos arrived from the likes of director Debbie Allen, tap expert Rusty Frank, choreographer Miriam Nelson, dancer Desmond Richardson and fellow hoofer Dick Van Dyke, the latter transmitted in a charming video.
The tribute enjoyed selections of home movies from the family vault, darling footage of the duo as kid hoofers — they were fantastic dancers from the get-go. The hands-down high point of the evening: footage of Fayard and Harold Nicholas horsing around a movie-studio back lot with a beaming Fred Astaire.
Good god. A troika of greatness.
Thank you, Tonia Barber, for the photo.