Cyd Charisse at the ballet barre, in full flush of Technicolor

Dance · Film
In opening moments of director Henry Koster’s The Unfinished Dance (1947), the audience gets the distinct pleasure of peering in as ballerina Mlle Bouchet (Cyd Charisse) does her daily warm-up. The gorgeous burnt-yellow tutu Cyd wears is the vision of costume designer Helen Rose. The color-saturated image — the yellow costume, Cyd’s red-red lipstick against ...

Technicolor rapture of THE UNFINISHED DANCE

Dance · Fashion · Film
This hallucinogenic slice of celluloid captures Cyd Charisse, playing prima ballerina Mlle Bouchet, in director Henry Koster’s movie-tour of the world of ballet neurosis, THE UNFINISHED DANCE. Here Cyd performs a balletic “combré,” a deep back-bend, at the barre. The movie, made at MGM in 1947, starred child actor Margaret O’Brien. It’s a ballet soap ...

Dance Camera West to spool classic ballet flick, “The Unfinished Dance”

Dance · Film
Everything is beautiful at the ballet. Except at the movies. In the movies, for some confounded reason, the world of pretty-in-pink turns blood red. It’s a parade of backstage drama awash in envy, rage, depression, jealousy, backstabbing, unkindness — and that’s just the light stuff. At worst, there are full-on murderous attacks, vengeful fits and ...

Fred & Cyd march on tippy toe in “The Band Wagon”

Dance · Fashion · Film
In this publicity still for “The Band Wagon” (MGM, 1953), Cyd Charisse marches on gorgeous gams while her partner Fred Astaire embodies a human exclamation point. In the movie, Cyd dons a different frock. Costumes were by Mary Ann Nyberg, who has a wonderful film-costume portfolio. Nyberg ran into problems dressing Judy Garland in “A ...

Ballet bends-and-stretches for Marilyn 2

Dance · Film
The photos are from a Life Magazine ‘A Day in the Life of a Starlet’ photo spread. Pictured are ballet instructor Nico Charisse (husband of Cyd) and his keen pupil, Marilyn Monroe. Writes Joshua Ireland, who shared the photos with arts·meme: *        *       * “I am working on a research project about Los Angeles dance ...