Ain’t there anyone here for love? Ladies, let’s do this! 1

Dance · Featured · Film
Okay, Messrs Weinstein, Schneiderman, R. Kelly, Richard Meier, Charlie Rose and the rest of you girl-slapping/lady-beating/colleague-abusing/dirty-talking/bathrobe-flapping/wiener-exposing power-guys! Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe, formidable glamazons in Jack Cole’s “Two Little Girls from Little Rock,” which opens GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) with a bang, want to share their version of gender politics. A big boomerang of woman ...

Dance-dwellers at the Villa Carlotta

Architecture & Design · Dance
When the call came from Hollywood in January 1941, the choreographer Jack Cole, leading his three-member troupe, repaired to Los Angeles tout de suite. So quickly did Cole dispatch his dancers Anna Austin and Florence Lessing to Calilfornia, that Austin wrote in her memoir, “We did not have time to take makeup off.” We had ...

A smoking dance number! ‘Two Cigarettes in the Dark’

Dance · Film · Music
It was so much fun to receive this dance number (above) from our friend the pianist/performer Peter Mintun, a very niche expert in old-tyme American popular music — the stuff of cafe society. The lead tap dancer (unidentified) and chorines deliver performances that can best be described as ‘smoking.’ “Two Cigarettes in the Dark,” by ...

A Jack Cole audition for KISMET (1944)

Dance · Featured · Film
The choreographer Jack Cole is most known for his Oriental dance numbers in KISMET (MGM, 1955) directed by Vincente Minnelli. But a decade prior, also at MGM, Cole choreographed KISMET (1944) starring the non-dancer, Marlene Dietrich. Dancer/ballet instructor Joan Bayley, who went on to become choreographer’s assistant to Robert Alton, auditioned for Cole as a ...

Last hurrah, 70 years ago, for Jack Cole at Florida’s Colonial Inn

Dance
Seventy years ago today, February 14, 1948, a display ad for the erstwhile Colonial Inn in Hallandale, Florida, ran in the Ft. Lauderdale News. The Inn was neither colonial nor an inn. It was a “carpet joint,” a boozy, broad-filled gambling joint whose boss man was notorious. The club would soon be closed down by ...

The wow factor: Paul Steffen Dancers in Italy, 1964 3

Dance
Sometimes all you can say is, “Wow.” After a European tour circa 1950, Jack Cole dancer Paul Steffen — a member of Cole’s resident dance company at Columbia Pictures who performed in all of Cole’s Rita Hayworth stuff and more — settled in Italy for the rest of his life. There he made this work ...

Alan Johnson / Mel Brooks dance-clips party at the Paley Center 1

Dance · Film
Ed. note: Guest writer Julie McDonald, senior agent and co-founder of McDonald Selznick Associates (MSA), contributes this story about a tribute event for the choreographer Alan Johnson. Sunday evening I attended a career retrospective of the great choreographer, Alan Johnson, held at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. Having attended a prior celebration ...

How George Martin found first dance job — in the Yellow Pages

Dance
Debra Levine lectures on Jack Cole’s “The Gladiators” dancers: Rod Alexander, Jack Cole, George Martin A wonderful sliver of dance history sourced at New York Public Library for the Performing Arts concerns Jack Cole dancer George Martin. Said Martin, in an interview, apropos the start of his dance career: “My mother took me to see ...

Norman Bel Geddes interior-design sketch for Palais Royal

Architecture & Design · Dance
Norman Bel Geddes (American, 1893-1958) Geddes’s design of a dancing couple for the Palais Royal Cabaret Theatre Ca. 1922 Watercolor on paper Courtesy Norman Bel Geddes online database, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin Jack Cole danced at the Palais Royal in December 1933. It was Cole’s first nightclub gig. The building, which ...

Alma would be happy. Celebrating the UCLA dance department, the nation’s first 7

Dance · Reviews
It was nearly an uproar; a spontaneous outpouring of love and appreciation filled the room when the image of Alma Hawkins, the founder and guiding force behind the dance program at UCLA (now called World Arts and Cultures/Dance), was flashed on an on-stage screen. “A Celebration of UCLA Dance 1962-2017” was not the anticipated turgid ...