She’s a dancer’s dancer, a real stunner. The ballet-trained Barrie Chase was the leggiest creature since Cyd Charisse to hit the Hollywood gypsy-dance circuit when she got a gig as a chorus dancer in Vincent Minnelli‘s KISMET (1955).
The choreographer? The great Jack Cole whom The Museum of Modern Art is honoring in All That Jack (Cole), a film-career retrospective running from January 20 – February 4 in New York City.
In the midst of working with Cole, Chase found herself in the plum position of being invited by God (not that God, the other one, the Dance God who partnered Ginger Rogers) as the final of Fred Astaire’s dance partners.
Extending Astaire’s career by a solid decade by dint of her youthful presence, the duo completed four award-winning television specials: An Evening with Fred Astaire (Oct 1958); Another Evening with Fred Astaire (Nov 1959); Astaire Time (Sept 1960); and The Fred Astaire Show (Feb 1968).
It will be my honor to interview Barrie Chase prior to the screening of George Cukor‘s delicious LES GIRLS (1957), choreographed by Cole, in which Barrie both danced and served as Cole’s rehearsal assistant.
Barrie and I will be talking Fred and Jack … and Jack and Fred … and then some more Fred … and then some more Jack.
During the interview, we’ll screen rare footage from three of the Astaire television specials, including, Oh, You Beautiful Doll.
Come on down!