‘Normal’ ballet is so boring: Petipa, Balanchine, Tudor, Robbins, Ratmansky. Those guys never put girls in pointe shoes on pianos. We prefer fancy, Hollywood-style ballet, like this photo from KING OF JAZZ (1930) made at Universal Pictures and featuring dancing by Russell Markert dancers (Markert, who, not surprisingly, founded the Rockettes, is listed as the movie’s choreographer of credit), Al Norman (rubber-legged, snake-hips dancer) and Paul Small.
What better way to marry dance to music than place twinkle-toe to piano key? Film, in a new digital restoration, is part of Universal Pictures: Restorations and Rediscoveries, 1928–1937 opening soon at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
KING OF JAZZ | The Museum of Modern Art | May 13