Ruth St. Denis sightings

miss ruth 1914 As time marches on, the figureheads of the 20th century dance fall from our reach. But a surprising number of dance devotees in Los Angeles had contact, however minimally, with the great modern-dance pioneer, Ruth St. Denis. Forever known as “Miss Ruth,” she spent her final decades in our city. First up ...

Dancer’s ploy for getting on Ed Sullivan Show

You want to dance on Ed Sullivan, right? So why not make a dance about … Ed Sullivan? The creators used this ultimate ploy to tickle a narcissist’s fancy and also entertain the public. This tidy dance number, which echoes Bob Fosse’s “Rich Man’s Frug” in many ways, is the work of two choreographers, Hal ...

‘I can’t dance,’ signals Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball in ‘Being The Ricardos’ 2

Dance · Film
It’s no spoiler to share that in one scene of BEING THE RICARDOS, a cultural cataclysm heading our way December 10 in theatres and on Amazon PRIME, Nicole Kidman, as Lucille Ball, lets drop that her sexy boyfriend Desi Arnaz (Javiar Bardem) is going to teach her how to rumba. The embarrassing display that follows ...

Vera-Ellen’s teensy steak dinner recalled by dance coach

Dance · Film
chubby cheeks Turning the conversation to Vera-Ellen, I asked Joan Bayley who worked with the Hollywood dancer on White Christmas, if she was a nice girl. “Yes, she was,” replied Joan. “She was not an exciting personality, but she was friendly and sweet.” I expressed my opinion that Vera-Ellen’s dancing is not my favorite, as ...

Errol Flynn could dance, insists Julie Newmar 3

Dance · Film
Julie on set in gold head-to-toe makeup applied by makeup man Antole Robbins, Flynn observing at rear c. 1952 Beyond his many physical gifts that made him the most derring-do of screen actors to famously do his own stuntwork, the long-legged Aussie-born movie star, Erroll Flynn (1909-1959) could also dance. Who knew? It was a ...

Hollywood 1952: Jack Cole’s ethnic dance includes voodoo & waltz

Dance · Film
In the summer and fall of 1951, the dance maker Jack Cole undertook two major new choreographies, one each at the two leading film studios of the era. He staged and danced the lead role in a voodoo ceremonial-rite for Lydia Bailey, at Twentieth Century Fox, and choreographed a sumptuous ‘grand valse’ for The Merry Widow ...

More on Alton’s ‘Choreography’ from WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954) 4

Dance · Film
Above, an interesting shot of Vera-Ellen‘s “cute” entry into the Danny Kaye-starring “Choreography” number from WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954). You don’t see the dancer’s full descent in the final film. You just see her legs. Nor in the black-and-white photo is it possible to imagine the fuchsia color Vera-Ellen is wearing — a color made possible ...

‘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 ...

Toni Basil ‘does the Pony, does the James Brown’ on CBS

Dance · Film
We loved seeing Toni Basil, 76, doing the pony and the James Brown on CBS Sunday morning on Oscar Day 2020.