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 ...

Connoisseur’s choice: Saturday January 23 @ MoMA

Dance · Film
1:00 pm. Introduced by Barrie Chase, Les Girls. 1957. USA. Directed by George Cukor. Screenplay by John Patrick. Music by Cole Porter. Dances by Jack Cole, Gene Kelly. With Kelly, Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall, Taina Elg. 114 min. Backed by an MGM budget, Cole contributes dances of Cukor-esque sophistication. The multifarious “Les Girls” number accommodates ...

Jack Cole’s pinnacle, “Ladies in Waiting” 3

Dance · Film
Mitzi Gaynor, at right above, in a sotto voce-hiss to Kay Kendall in Jack Cole‘s brilliant “Ladies in Waiting” dance sequence from LES GIRLS (MGM, 1957), delivers bad news. Kendall will soon be exposed as a chorus dancer to her fiancé and his proper family. The number, full of drama both comic and tragic, uses ...

Thank you, Gene Allen

Dance · Film · Visual arts
Saddened to learn today that the great Hollywood art director Gene Allen, the man who converted director George Cukor’s vision to rich mise-en-scene, died October 7 of natural causes in Newport Beach. Allen, who lived a long life, perished at 97. Yes, Gene Allen, the much hallowed Academy Award-winning art director of MY FAIR LADY ...

Jack Cole, the camera’s eye, and the space of the soundstage

Dance · Film
In the photo above from “The I Don’t Care Girl,” Cole inserts a staircase so that the dancer (Mitzi Gaynor, on steps) floats (as in space) at mid-frame. Cole layers men on the ground, populating the bottom edge of the frame. He regularly dispatched men, scrambling, across the frame bottom. He even extended the viewer’s ...

Oh la la! Jack Cole’s “Les Girls” from “Les Girls” (1957) 1

Dance · Film
The (by then) hugely experienced dance-on-film man Jack Cole choreographed the brilliant dance sequences in “Les Girls,” a movie musical directed by George Cukor in 1957. “Les Girls” is included in the upcoming TCM broadcast “Choreography by Jack Cole” on Turner Classic Movies September 10, 2012. I will co-host the evening with Robert Osborne. “Les ...