Rita Hayworth’s stardom on staircases

ed. note: Do you know what "press books" were in the movie industry of high Hollywood? We didn't either, until a nice librarian at USC named Ned Comstock introduced the press book from the 1946 film noir, Gilda. Columbia Pictures, where the movie originated, employed public relations people to create little compendia of story ideas ...

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 ...

Must the show really go on? 2

Dance · Film · Ideas & Opinion
In a world in which ‘norms’ seem at best untethered and at worst unhinged, everything is under revision, everything feels up for grabs! And thus we question that most sacredly-held tenet … that the show must go on. In this purposefully ‘bad’ dance number from Cover Girl (1944) courtesy of B-movie factory Columbia Pictures, the ...

Buy Marilyn’s birthday suit 1

Fashion · Film
Yes, Marilyn, you are attending President Kennedy’s birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden in New York. But that does not mean you have to wear your birthday suit! Instead, Monroe commissioned a super special gown from French-born Hollywood designer Jean Louis for the occasion. A real stunner. And it’s soon for sale courtesy of Julien’s ...

Jack Cole’s “Down to Earth” recast as Kenny Ortega’s “Xanadu”

Dance · Film
I like this freewheeling, highly cinematic dance number for nine women, “I’m Alive,” choreographed by Kenny Ortega for Xanadu (1980). Its hyper-realism, fresh swapping of perspective, and other charming trickery prove what the camera can do with dance that’s not possible on stage. Smooth editing and special effects enhance the number. “I’m Alive” and the ...

Jack Cole choreography for GILDA set to sizzle on UCLA Film Archive big screen 1

Dance · Film
Do you enjoy this classic image of Rita Hayworth as GILDA? It’s a capture from  Hayworth’s iconic high-end striptease, “Put the Blame on Mame,” choreographed by Jack Cole, the brilliant dance maker who rocked Hayworth’s world at Columbia Pictures in the 1940s. Cole’s dance numbers (“Put the Blame on Mame,” “Amado Mio“), taken together, raise ...

Rita Hayworth to Jack Cole: You Excite Me

Dance · Film
Clearly if Jack Cole excited Rita Hayworth, the feeling was mutual. The above beautiful, posed color still from Columbia Pictures’ marvelous wartime dance-filled musical, “Tonight and Every Night” (1945, chor: Jack Cole) captures “You Excite Me” — a wild rumba-rhythmed concoction Cole cooked for Hayworth. The photo features six of Rita’s dancing colleagues at Columbia ...

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 ...

Hayworth by Hurrell … just because

Film · Visual arts
This stunning portrait of Rita Hayworth shot in 1942 by Hollywood glamour photographer George Hurrell  is featured in Mark Vieira’s massive coffeetable book, “George Hurrell’s Hollywood: Glamour Portraits 1925 – 1992.” photo courtesy mark vieira

Meet Marc Platt, stage & screen dancer 2

Born ‘Marcel Emile Gaston Leplat’ in Pasadena, California, on December 2, 1913, Marc Platt’s passion (and training) for classic dance started at an early age. The son of concert artists, he began studying dance with Mary Ann Welles in Seattle, at age 12, when after watching her class he declared: “I could do that.” They let him ...