Gwen Verdon sighting: ‘Drink your prune juice!’ 2

Dance · Film
There’s our girl: Gwen Verdon You’re a contract dancer at Twentieth Century-Fox, and you’re lazing around the studio with the guys, killing time. No assignment. All of a sudden into the rehearsal hall strides Jack Cole, hurriedly. He impatiently assembles a sage bit of dancing for you. Growling orders at Matt Mattox and Frank Radcliffe ...

‘Apollo’ off course. Wrong. Nyet.

Dance
The two photos on this page, of Balanchine’s “Apollo,” are not captures of the ballet’s choreography. No such dance moment occurs in “Apollo.” They are, instead, posed tableaux of two casts of four — marketing photos? Above we see principal dancers of the Mariinsky Ballet, who delivered the work at the recent ‘Balanchine: The City ...

Hardest hit on ‘White Christmas’ movie set? Dancers. 4

Dance · Film
The lyric may be “iconic,” but it’s also “ironic.” Robert Alton’s sumptuous dance duet, “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing,” a classy, flowing number for Vera-Ellen and Danny Kaye, in White Christmas (1954) reveals the choreographer’s signature moves. Alton [Easter Parade, There’s No Business LIke Show Business, White Christmas] could move bodies around a ...

Michael Jackson could only spin to the left, said Donald McKayle

Dance · Music · Theater
Chatting in 2011 with the great Tony Award-winning choreographer Donald McKayle (Raisin, Sophisticated Ladies, Dr. Jazz), who passed away just last week, McKayle let drop that he had worked with Michael Jackson on two occasions. And he remembered one funny detail. “He taught himself to dance,” said McKayle. “He could spin only to the left.” ...

Jack Cole’s arm coaches Rita Hayworth in “Amado Mio” from GILDA

Dance · Fashion · Film
For the longest time, we have wondered whether the great choreographer Jack Cole (born in New Brunswick New Jersey, he got his start as a barefoot Denishawn dancer) worked with Rita Hayworth on her Latin-dance number, “Amado Mio” from GILDA (1946). That choreography would be above and beyond his well-acknowledged creation of Rita’s seminal, classy ...

Gene Kelly’s witty number in “It’s Always Fair Weather” 4

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 ...