Academy honors dance genius of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” 2

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Oscar winner George Chakiris ("West Side Story," 1962), dance critic Debra Levine

chakiris, oscar, levine

Like all of us, Oscar has another side.

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Before the screening of "Gentlemen," dance talk led by Debra Levine.

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Former Denishawn dancer Jack Cole and his mentor, Ruth St. Denis, in 1935

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Jack Cole's nightclub act, 1947, Cole second from right in black.

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Jack Cole's wide-legged stance in his nightclub act.

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The "lost" dance number of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes": the Parisian ballet

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"The Gladiators" circa early 1950s. Jack Cole at center.

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Gwen Verdon rehearses Monroe for "Just Two Little Girls from Little Rock."

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Marilyn Monroe mirrors her choreographer for "Diamonds."

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Jack Cole, white sweater, directs "Diamonds." George Chakiris, at left, observes.

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Cole & Monroe circa 1960.

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As a young chorine, George Chakiris danced in "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend."

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Chakiris shares memories of Marilyn Monroe's strict work ethic during the shoot.

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Chakiris acts out a mishap that remains in "Ain't There Anyone Here for Love?"

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Jane Russell gets clipped by a dancer and falls into the swimming pool.

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Thanking George Chakiris, a great American dancer of his generation.

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George Chakiris, who *kills* as Bernardo in "West Side Story."

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Ellen Harrington, Director, Exhibits and Collections, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, who produced the "Gentlemen" event

All photos by Dana Ross.