Dance Detective: Who chor’ed ‘An Occasional Man’ in ‘The Girl Rush’ (1955)?

Dance · Film
courtesy of doc macro From Bob Boross:From the film “The Girl Rush” starring Rosalind Russell, Fernando Lamas, Gloria DeHaven, and Eddie Albert. Matt Mattox is a leading dancer in the film’s four dances. The choreographer is Robert Alton, although Matt told me that he choreographed the film. After examining the dances, it looks as if ...

‘Instead of dance, it’s choreography,’ gripes choreographer Robert Alton 1

Dance · Film
danny kaye, ‘choreography’ number from white christmas (1954) Danny Kaye, in the screenshot above, performs a send-up of Jack Cole‘s Hindu-Jazz in Robert Alton‘s “Choreography” number in WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954). The number is primarily a spoof on Martha Graham, and I imagine Kaye inserting this little fillip just for fun. Kaye worked extensively with Jack ...

Martha Graham, Rita Hayworth share bill in 1923 2

Dance · Theater
Astonishing discovery by artsmeme‘s Hollywood dance detective … [More Hollywood dance detective stories here!] Every student of dance history knows that Martha Graham danced in the Greenwich Village Follies of 1923, produced by John Murray Anderson, first in Sheridan Square in the Village and then on Broadway. Correct? Yes, correct. Graham, above, appeared in the ...

Before ‘Redhead’: ‘Gentlemen Chase Redheads’

Dance · Theater
gwen verdon, richard kiley, stars of ‘redhead‘ She starred, in a peak moment of her Broadway fame, in the Tony Award-winning musical, Redhead, which opened at the 46th Street Theater on February 5, 1959. Her director/choreographer was Mr. Fosse. courtesy of verdon-fosse legacy The show, a murder mystery in the vein of KNIVES OUT but ...

Thank you, Robert Evans, for ‘Serpico’ scene at Lewisohn Stadium

Architecture & Design · Dance
In this snippet from Serpico (1973), fellow cops Tony Roberts and Al Pacino haggle in the eerie ghost town of a grand structure where so much New York art and culture — famously, summer concerts by the New York Philharmonic — met an avid audience. It’s the 8,000-seat-capacity Lewisohn Stadium on the campus of City ...

Dig it! Betty Grable in ‘Diga Diga Do’ 1

Dance · Film
A fabulous YouTube find, a compendium of song-and-dance numbers performed by Betty Grable, in 1954, during a live television broadcast: the premier edition of Chrysler “Shower of Stars” on CBS. Opening the video is Grable in a sizzling demonstration of how song and dance were integrated during the period — in “Diga Do,” a specialty ...

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 choreography on 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? The dancers. 7

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.” ...