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 ...

Cyd Charisse at the ballet barre, in full flush of Technicolor

Dance · Film
In opening moments of director Henry Koster’s The Unfinished Dance (1947), the audience gets the distinct pleasure of peering in as ballerina Mlle Bouchet (Cyd Charisse) does her daily warm-up. The gorgeous burnt-yellow tutu Cyd wears is the vision of costume designer Helen Rose. The color-saturated image — the yellow costume, Cyd’s red-red lipstick against ...

Dance Camera West to spool classic ballet flick, “The Unfinished Dance”

Dance · Film
Everything is beautiful at the ballet. Except at the movies. In the movies, for some confounded reason, the world of pretty-in-pink turns blood red. It’s a parade of backstage drama awash in envy, rage, depression, jealousy, backstabbing, unkindness — and that’s just the light stuff. At worst, there are full-on murderous attacks, vengeful fits and ...