In last night’s “Emmys” dance number, gloved arms by Jack Cole 1

Dance
In last night’s Emmy broadcast, dance maker Spencer Liff opened his “Number in the Middle of the Show,” with a filip right out of Jack Cole’s playbook: black opera-length gloved arms reaching through holes in a wall … a distinctive design element that Cole used repeatedly. Below, he uses it in “Tars & Spars” (1946) ...

At “Oscars Outdoors,” gentlemen still prefer blondes 1

Dance · Film
It was a super-special 60th anniversary screening, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science’s “Oscars Outdoors” summer series, of 20th Century-Fox’s comic classic from 1953, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” the movie that blasted off the career of Marilyn Monroe. And the flick’s funnier than ever. Lead actresses Monroe and Jane Russell zing out hilarious ...

George Chakiris to introduce GENTLEMEN at Academy; Debra Levine to discuss Jack Cole

Dance · Film
Sixty years after appearing as a chorus dancer behind Marilyn Monroe in “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” George Chakiris will host the Academy’s “Oscars Outdoors” screening of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES Saturday night, August 3, 2013. In the photo at right we see George, a young man with fake grey highlights spraypainted in his hair. ...

That pink dress! Costuming Marilyn Monroe for “Diamonds”

Dance · Fashion · Film
At right, Travilla‘s design for Marilyn’s iconic pink dress in “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” from GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) whose 60th anniversary we are honoring with a screening at the Academy’s “Oscars Outdoors” series Saturday August 3. The classy pink dress, lined with felt, was a replacement design for an original, much less ...

Gene Kelly’s witty number in “It’s Always Fair Weather” 3

Dance · Film
We enjoyed watching Illeana Douglas host “It’s Always Fair Weather” (MGM, 1955, dir: Stanley Donen) recently on Turner Classic Movies. The song-and-dance number in the video above, Thanks a Lot, But No Thanks, bears so much influence of Jack Cole (he, too, worked with Gray, coaching the non-dancer in “Kismet” and “Designing Woman,” both at ...

How a genius choreographs: Jack Cole’s “Beale Street Blues” 2

Dance · Film
In this 30-second snippet from the men’s dance in “Beale Street Blues,” one of Jack Cole’s three great dance numbers from THE I DON’T CARE GIRL (Fox, 1953), the work of a brilliant dance maker is on display. It’s a game of craps gone wrong. It gets played out on a platform, ostensibly  (my reading) ...

New York Times honors Jack Cole & dance critic 3

Dance · Film · Language & ideas
It’s a big honor to be recognized in the New York Times. I am awfully proud to receive a shout-out (used to be called a “name mention”) from Dave Kehr, the highly respected film critic. In his weekly New York Times round-up of recently released DVDs, Kehr writes: MEET ME AFTER THE SHOW The choreographer ...

Fox to release “The I Don’t Care Girl” (1953) on DVD 1

Dance · Film
We just learned, courtesy of our good friends at Polly O Entertainment, personal managers to Mitzi Gaynor, the wonderful news that Twentieth Century-Fox will release arts·meme favorite, “The I Don’t Care Girl” on DVD April 8, 2013. The biopic, a relatively turgid mid-century look back at vaudeville hottie Eva Tanguay (pictured above with Mitzi who ...

Matt (Harold Henry) Mattox, memorialized

Dance · Film · Theater
by 
MATT (Harold Henry) MATTOX b. Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, August 18, 1921 d. Perpignan, France, February 18, 2013 “I’ve never classified myself as a jazz teacher, I prefer to talk about ‘free-style dancing,’ which means I have a choice of movement for any piece of music,” said Mattox in a 1993 interview. To prepare for his ...

Happy New Year 2013 from arts·meme! 1

Dance · Film
[click directly on photos for detail] Incandescent dance photography from a Hollywood film. Why are we not surprised that Jack Cole stands behind it? The Harlequinade costumes are a dead giveaway; one of the enduring interests of this choreographer (he died in 1974 in Los Angeles) was commedia dell’arte. High-voltage performance (Gower Champion laudable in ...