How “Birdcage” choreographer Vince Paterson created ‘Fosse Fosse Fosse’ number 4

Dance · Film
“I had the joy of working with Mike Nichols twice. First on “The Birdcage,” and then on “Closer,” I directed Natalie [Portman] and Clive [Owen] in some movement.” We were chatting with choreographer Vincent Paterson on the sad occasion of the death of director Mike Nichols. While working on “The Birdcage,” Paterson created, on the ...

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 ...

Matt Mattox (1921-2013) leads off in “Lonesome Polecat” 3

Dance · Film
Big guy Matt Mattox leads off his “brothers” in this lovely unhurried number choreographed by Michael Kidd for SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (MGM, 1954). The precision! Matt’s mournful singing, “Can’t make no vows … to a herd of cows” is dubbed in the movie by Bill Lee. Like this? Read more: Matt Mattox, memorialized ...

Robin Williams’ “eclectic celebration of the dance” in “The Birdcage” 2

Dance · Film

Melissa Hayden hops a train — just as she hopped into the arms of Jacques d’Amboise 2

Dance
A characteristic shot of the inimitable New York City Ballet ballerina Melissa Hayden (1923-2006), nee Mildred Herman, a nice Canadian Jewish girl (who knew?) who wanted to be a champion swimmer, or so we learned from Milly’s habitual partner, Jacques d’Amboise, at an ALOUD book talk last week. D’Amboise reveled in stories about the extroverted, ...