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 — a great youtube ‘find’ for this researcher.
The handsome Steffen shows up at 0:09. Cole would have kicked his arse if he he tried to smile, as in 01:43, during a Cole performance.
Steffen also danced for Lester Horton. Horton, too, would have frowned mightily at that smile. What this work brings to mind is that Steffen & Co. performed at the Lido nightclub in Paris. This is very Lido-esque.
More than a dollop of Italian futurism in here, as well as in the music. I wonder where Steffen got his concept? A similar “rope dance” performed by Cole and Gwen Verdon pictured here.