Love for Ethel Martin

Yes, love for Ethel Martin, the career-long Jack Cole dancer whose consistent, forthright and outspoken advocacy for Cole is nourishing my research. I agree with Ethel’s assessment whole-heartedly; she saw in Cole a great Unsung Genius. She devoted her career and all of her feisty spirit to him.

In turn, I am doing my best to honor Ethel. She’s seen here in “The Jolson Story” (1946) posing with the great Cole dancer Rod Alexander. Just take a look at the energy in their bodies. That should say it all about the choreographer who trained them.

I met Ethel Martin in person. She was a pistol. But she was spot-on where Jack Cole was concerned. She never stopped promoting him; she never stopped labeling him a genius; and she called it the “heartbreak of her life” that more people did not know his name. This happened at Jacob’s Pillow in 2010. What an honor meeting George and Ethel Martin.

Read Larry Billman’s account of the Martins’ careers here.

photo courtesy of larry billman, the academy of dance on film

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