The Jacksons bring joy to ‘Enjoy Yourself’

Dance · Music
So beautiful, in viewing Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown to Off the Wall, Spike Lee’s documentary now available on Showtime, the sight of MJ au natural, his face unmarred by surgery, his youthful and impassioned spirit intact. The doc tours the great Quincy Jones-produced album “Off the Wall” with superb talking heads.  This video by ...

We love Hollywood ballet

Dance · Film
‘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 ...

Remembering Mia Slavenska

Dance · Film
This simply spectacular photo memorializes a tremendous dancer of the twentieth century, the great Croatia-born prima ballerina Mia Slavenska. The rock solid legs, the startling physical intensity, the blazing eyes, all Slavenska. Following her career with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Slavenska’s long and winding road led, in the 1970s, to teaching classical ballet ...

Fred of our dreams

Dance · Film
From our friends at Julien Auctions, a pair of black-and-white silver gelatin prints of Fred Astaire taken by Andre de Dienes circa 1938. Both hand printed by de Dienes on double-weight paper and stamped by the photographer on verso. Sold at auction March 28, 2016.

Pre-tax pleasure: ‘Starring George Chakiris’ April 14

Dance · Film
We’re fans and we’re friends. That’s why we are so pleased that Turner Classic Movies is showcasing the creative output of actor/dancer/singer George Chakiris, whose triple-threat talent and smoldering good looks were made for the movies. Though a huge teen heartthrob in the sixties, Chakiris was often cast as a dark figure, famously in WEST ...

Denishawn could not hold her down, Louise Brooks

Dance · Film
Actress/dancer/flapper-provocateuse Louise Brooks made her Denishawn company debut in 1922, when the company had already relocated from Los Angeles to New York. Brooks was shown the door by company matriarch Ruth St. Denis and after playing dozens of bit parts in Hollywood movies, hit it big as bad-woman “Lulu” in G.W. Pabst’s Pandora’s Box in ...

Valentine to “All That Jack (Cole)”

Dance · Film
A Valentine to all the super-talented folks who contributed, by way of interviews and film introductions, or just by being there, to renewed appreciation for a great American choreographer. Thanks, all, for participating in “All That Jack (Cole)” at The Museum of Modern Art, Jan 20 – Feb 4, 2016. Below: director/choreographer Rob Marshall introduces ...

Thank you, New York! It ended with THE I DON’T CARE GIRL 4

Dance · Film
A force stronger than Jack Cole — Mother Nature — caused the rescheduling of snow-cancelled programs, giving a new finale to “All That Jack (Cole)” at The Museum of Modern Art. The closing picture was THE I DON’T CARE GIRL, a “B” movie musical whose titular dance number, as I wrote on MoMA’s “Inside/Out” blog, ...

Barrie Chase meets Fred Astaire once again

Architecture & Design · Dance · Visual arts
Hollywood dancer/actress Barrie Chase, in New York for appearances at “All That Jack (Cole),” the historic film-retrospective now on offer at The Museum of Modern Art, burst into a spontaneous expression of physical joy at the sight of the Fred Astaire caricature in Ed Sorel’s mural at The Monkey Bar on East 54th Street. Barrie, ...

Barrie Chase: a beautiful doll who danced for Jack Cole

Dance · Film
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 ...