Dance DNA: The Nicholas Brothers honored at the Alex 1

Dance · Film
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 ...

God dances, courtesy of director Charles Walters, on TCM

Dance · Film
Fred Astaire wants to be a dancin’ man in THE BELLE OF NEW YORK (1952). Do you think he succeeds? Part of Turner Classic Movies Friday Night Spotlights devoted to the dancing movies, and more, of director Charles Walters.

Flying men of Hollywood dance

Dance · Film
Is it a bird? Is is a plane? No, it’s a Hollywood dance man, flying. Like this? Read more: Ailey guys fly

Fred Astaire, pianist

Dance · Music
On this Labor Day weekend 2014, why not let Fred Astaire, pianist (and, oh yes, dancer), do all the work? Yet another incredible Fred Astaire dance sequence, this one from LET’S DANCE (1950). Just love Fred’s little ballet barre opening the number … then he gives a whirlwind “site-specific” dance tour of two pianos! Like ...

Catch it! Dance-movie posters @ The Pillow

Dance
We last saw arts·meme friend Mike Kaplan at the wonderful display of his vast collection of dance movie posters at the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. Now Mike turns up in the company of lovely Marge Champion, the special honoree of his current poster show, GOTTA DANCE!, at ...

Fred Astaire’s songs that dance 2

Dance · Film · Music
by 
If all you know of Fred Astaire is his movie dancing, the new two-CD set “Fred Astaire: The Early Years at RKO” (Turner Classic Music/Sony Masterworks) will be a revelation. With the possible exception of Bing Crosby, Astaire introduced more good songs — first on the Broadway stage, then in his movie musicals — than ...

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 ...

A royal Hollywood evening with Astaire & Travolta 1

Dance · Film
A Rat-Packy night in L.A. — so much royalty, show biz and more. The memorabilia comes from arts·meme pal Larry Billman, founder of the Academy of Dance on Film. From Larry’s photo archive, a groovy snapshot of cocktail hour preceding the 22nd annual ball of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honoring Fred Astaire. ...

Preeminent dance movie posters @ Barnsdall

Dance · Film · Visual arts
We’re super looking forward to touring through a wonderful installation of dance movies posters now on display at Barnsdall Gallery Theater. We already saw it once, but it’s so fabulous that repeat viewings are called for. Twenty distinct pieces in varying sizes and rarity comprise GOTTA DANCE!, the majority dating from the golden age of ...

Book review: ‘Hermes Pan, The Man Who Danced with Fred Astaire’ 3

Dance · Film · Reviews
A book review first published by Dance Magazine [December 2012] Growing up in Memphis as the son of Greek immigrants, Hermes Pan (1909–1990) copped dance steps from the family’s African-American household help. Fast-forward to the Depression, when the self-taught Hollywood choreographer’s black-and-white dance fantasies for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers offered Americans escape. The versatile ...