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MotherofZeus

Swing Time "Pick Myself Up" Dance Routine: What's yours?

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This is my favorite dance routine of all time.  All time.

 

I know she had bloody feet doing this one.  It was worth it.

 

Swoon!

 

What's your favorite dance routine of all time?

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Couples - Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen.  Group Dance - Good Mornin' with Gene, Debbie & "Cosmo".  Individual dance routine - Fred Astaire --Ceiling Dance

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@jhatesohl, Great picks.  I'm seeing Fred's solo (with about forty other minstrel) blackface number.  The one flaw I find with this movie.  So egregious but why "Hallelujah" and "Cabin in the Sky" are valuable. ? I completely agree with the Group Dance.  That's a keeper.  Solo is almost too hard to select at this moment. I'll have to come back to that. ?

 

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All time favorite? Sorry, Hollywood. It's Chaiyya Chaiyya from Dil Se with Shah Rukh Khan. (Supposedly he refused to wear a safety chain.)

 

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First of all, I used to take a lot of dance classes, and dancers who work hard getting bloody feet sometimes isn’t all that unusual, so can we let go of that?

Second, there’s no way to pick just one, but if I had to, Busby Berkley’s “Lullaby of Broadway” number in “Gold Diggers of 1935” is for sure some kind of masterpiece.

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Fred and Ginger (because they are in a class of their own):  "Let's Face the Music and Dance"

Fred alone (ditto):  "I Won't Dance"

Group:  Gene Kelly and the Nicholas Brothers in "Be a Clown"

Solo:  Donald O'Connor's "Make 'em Laugh"

Group and Solo:  Gene Kelly's alter-ego dance in Cover Girl

 

All this is subject to my changing mood and memory.

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12 hours ago, MStacey said:

All time favorite? Sorry, Hollywood. It's Chaiyya Chaiyya from Dil Se with Shah Rukh Khan. (Supposedly he refused to wear a safety chain.)

 

Personally, I love this one!!

 

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I love PICK YOURSELF UP. When Fred Astaire received the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award, the crowd gasped and cheered at this number. And that moment when Mr. Astaire does the "look Ma, no hands." Wow.

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What a great question! Thanks for asking it.

My go to pick me up dance routines involve Fred Astaire (my all time fav!). 

The first is the opening routine in Easter Parade with Fred dancing around that toy shop. When he dances to Irving Berlin's,  Drum Crazy I can't help jumping up and dancing along (not so well but hey I try). The foley sounds are so exaggerated but really add joy to the number. And the part where Fred purposely bangs his ankle on the side of the counter and limps away...lol a little jab at his friend Gene Kelly who was signed to star but broke his ankle. I just love these little inside jokes.

I also love Fred and Judy dancing and singing to, We're a Couple of Swells. Judys voice is great as always but she really holds her own with the great Astaire throughout. And both's comedic timing while singing and dancing is spot on.

I have other favorites but these two rise to the top like cream.

 

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22 hours ago, MStacey said:

All time favorite? Sorry, Hollywood. It's Chaiyya Chaiyya from Dil Se with Shah Rukh Khan. (Supposedly he refused to wear a safety chain.)

 

Thanks for posting this clip. I can definitely see Hollywood/Broadway's influence with the piece reminding me a bit of the numbers in Grease. I don't understand what they are saying but the arm movements, the pointing gestures, the youthful enthusiasm, the ensemble dancing guys/girls and especially the close-ups of his appreciation of her terrific figure. 

Great clip!

 

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Fred Astaire's rotating room dance sequence from "Royal Wedding" hands down (or upside down as the case is).

Astaire's undeniable timing & abilities combined w/Stanley Donen's direction, camera positioning & the engineering of that 'turning cage', makes this indeed a classic.

Only recently I came across a webpage that has side-by-side visuals of the actual scene as viewed by audiences compared w/just how it was created and filmed.  If you haven't seen this, I think you'll be fascinated.

Fred Astaire's Rotating Room

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11 hours ago, crysalong said:

 

Personally, I love this one!!

 

Oh, yes!!! Kal Ho Naa Ho is one of my favorite films, although I can't watch it as often as Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... and others because I get too emotional at the end! Kal Ho Naa Ho was the first Shah Rukh Khan film I saw on the big screen. Thanks for sharing!

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6 hours ago, CynthiaV said:

Thanks for posting this clip. I can definitely see Hollywood/Broadway's influence with the piece reminding me a bit of the numbers in Grease. I don't understand what they are saying but the arm movements, the pointing gestures, the youthful enthusiasm, the ensemble dancing guys/girls and especially the close-ups of his appreciation of her terrific figure. 

Great clip!

 

Isn't it fun!!!

Popular Hindi cinema has a song and dance tradition that goes back to the earliest sound films in India, and it's deserving of its own course (hey, TCM!).

The song Chaiyya Chaiyya has been used in some US TV shows and movies, and I always get excited when I hear it! The lyrics translated: http://blog.chandrahasa.com/archives/3168

And, sorry for meandering off-topic from the original post--perhaps this discussion should have a separate thread. Good discussion starter, MotherofZeus!

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Great question!  Two favorites: Moses Supposes with Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor from Singin In the Rain.  The two of them are so in sync.  Such a fun routine.  Cheers me up every time I watch it.  Second favorite is the ballet from An American in Paris which is not really a "routine" but so technically complex and groundbreaking for its time.

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This is a HUGE toss up between two dance numbers for me:

  1. "Never Gonna Dance" - Astaire & Rogers from Swing Time. Oh my gosh, this is almost PERFECT to my ears and eyes. I first watched this movie when I was fairly young, and it was the first Astaire/Rogers musical that I saw. Something immediately grabbed me about this number, and I have been obsessed with it ever since. I think part of its power lies in its changing pace and its honest representation of their story throughout the film. A visibly defeated Fred, and equally devastated Ginger manage to perfectly depict those emotions through their bodies. And the length! Holy moly! We don't see a cut in the shot until they reach the top of the stairs. Just knowing how long this took (well over 40 takes) and how exhausted they were only adds to its fragile beauty.
  2. "42nd Street" - Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell & Ensemble from 42nd Street. I personally LOVE Ruby's tap routine from this. There is so much happening in this number, but it all somehow works to set the overall tone of depression-era New York...and with those amazing sets! That amazing Busby Berkeley staging! Naughty, Bawdy, Gaudy, Sporty 42nd Street has been one of my all-time favourite musical for awhile now. Never fails to pick me up, will never age, and in my humble opinion represents the apex of the backstage musical.
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Thank you crysalong & MStacey!  My taste in Hindi film goes a bit further back, but it's easy to see how SRK became such a huge star.  Most of the Hindi movies I've watched have been those of Shammi Kapoor and Guru Dutt.  The first Indian film I ever saw was Mehboob Ki Mendhi with Rajesh Khanna.  I was amazed by his dancing and disappointed to find out about the playback singers.  Having grown up on classic Hollywood with the true triple threats like Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, and Judy Garland, it was disheartening to me at first.  Then after listening to more of the Hindi music and vocal style I understand more why it is done that way.

As far as Hindi movies go, it's hard for me to pick one favorite dance number.  But you can't go wrong with Helen:

 

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My favorite of the Astaire & Rogers dance numbers is Let's Face the Music and Dance from Follow the Fleet (1936).  It has drama on two levels.  It's presented as a performance piece but it is also a personal moment between Sherry and Bake.

 

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On 6/10/2018 at 11:10 AM, CynthiaV said:

What a great question! Thanks for asking it.

My go to pick me up dance routines involve Fred Astaire (my all time fav!). 

The first is the opening routine in Easter Parade with Fred dancing around that toy shop. When he dances to Irving Berlin's,  Drum Crazy I can't help jumping up and dancing along (not so well but hey I try). The foley sounds are so exaggerated but really add joy to the number. And the part where Fred purposely bangs his ankle on the side of the counter and limps away...lol a little jab at his friend Gene Kelly who was signed to star but broke his ankle. I just love these little inside jokes.

I also love Fred and Judy dancing and singing to, We're a Couple of Swells. Judys voice is great as always but she really holds her own with the great Astaire throughout. And both's comedic timing while singing and dancing is spot on.

I have other favorites but these two rise to the top like cream.

 

As I've said, I like to imagine my guardian angel is Fred Astaire.  I think one couldn't help but end up having a great life with him looking out for her.  Your choices are great.

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1 hour ago, Suzanne1228 said:

My favorite of the Astaire & Rogers dance numbers is Let's Face the Music and Dance from Follow the Fleet (1936).  It has drama on two levels.  It's presented as a performance piece but it is also a personal moment between Sherry and Bake.

 

Absolutely breathtaking choice.  

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On 6/10/2018 at 3:28 PM, NeverGonnaDance said:

This is a HUGE toss up between two dance numbers for me:

  1. "Never Gonna Dance" - Astaire & Rogers from Swing Time. Oh my gosh, this is almost PERFECT to my ears and eyes. I first watched this movie when I was fairly young, and it was the first Astaire/Rogers musical that I saw. Something immediately grabbed me about this number, and I have been obsessed with it ever since. I think part of its power lies in its changing pace and its honest representation of their story throughout the film. A visibly defeated Fred, and equally devastated Ginger manage to perfectly depict those emotions through their bodies. And the length! Holy moly! We don't see a cut in the shot until they reach the top of the stairs. Just knowing how long this took (well over 40 takes) and how exhausted they were only adds to its fragile beauty.
  2. "42nd Street" - Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell & Ensemble from 42nd Street. I personally LOVE Ruby's tap routine from this. There is so much happening in this number, but it all somehow works to set the overall tone of depression-era New York...and with those amazing sets! That amazing Busby Berkeley staging! Naughty, Bawdy, Gaudy, Sporty 42nd Street has been one of my all-time favourite musical for awhile now. Never fails to pick me up, will never age, and in my humble opinion represents the apex of the backstage musical.

I love your choices.  I've been developing a new appreciation for Ruby Keeler.  I'm going to have to study her biography as I don't know why she didn't hit the same fan level that Ginger and Fred did. Is it because of her life with Al Jolson, or was it that she never found her partner like Fred and Ginger or Jeanette And Nelson? Or am I missing something and ignorant in my admission?

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On 6/10/2018 at 2:46 PM, Wendyb said:

Great question!  Two favorites: Moses Supposes with Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor from Singin In the Rain.  The two of them are so in sync.  Such a fun routine.  Cheers me up every time I watch it.  Second favorite is the ballet from An American in Paris which is not really a "routine" but so technically complex and groundbreaking for its time.

"Make 'Em Laugh" is also one of my absolute favorites.  Pure magic!  Donald O'Connor is the bee's knees.

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On 6/10/2018 at 12:32 PM, MStacey said:

Isn't it fun!!!

Popular Hindi cinema has a song and dance tradition that goes back to the earliest sound films in India, and it's deserving of its own course (hey, TCM!).

The song Chaiyya Chaiyya has been used in some US TV shows and movies, and I always get excited when I hear it! The lyrics translated: http://blog.chandrahasa.com/archives/3168

And, sorry for meandering off-topic from the original post--perhaps this discussion should have a separate thread. Good discussion starter, MotherofZeus!

Don't apologize. This is absolutely part of the topic. I'm delighted to learn about routines with which I am unfamiliar.  If you have more to suggest, keep them coming.

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On 6/10/2018 at 11:32 AM, Zea said:

Fred Astaire's rotating room dance sequence from "Royal Wedding" hands down (or upside down as the case is).

Astaire's undeniable timing & abilities combined w/Stanley Donen's direction, camera positioning & the engineering of that 'turning cage', makes this indeed a classic.

Only recently I came across a webpage that has side-by-side visuals of the actual scene as viewed by audiences compared w/just how it was created and filmed.  If you haven't seen this, I think you'll be fascinated.

Fred Astaire's Rotating Room

Wonderful!  I just shared with my son who is 13 and has a director'/cinematographer's eye. This is true genius by all parties. 

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1 hour ago, Suzanne1228 said:

Thank you crysalong & MStacey!  My taste in Hindi film goes a bit further back, but it's easy to see how SRK became such a huge star.  Most of the Hindi movies I've watched have been those of Shammi Kapoor and Guru Dutt.  The first Indian film I ever saw was Mehboob Ki Mendhi with Rajesh Khanna.  I was amazed by his dancing and disappointed to find out about the playback singers.  Having grown up on classic Hollywood with the true triple threats like Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, and Judy Garland, it was disheartening to me at first.  Then after listening to more of the Hindi music and vocal style I understand more why it is done that way.

As far as Hindi movies go, it's hard for me to pick one favorite dance number.  But you can't go wrong with Helen:

 

Hi, Suzanne1228! Sholay is such a classic! I have to confess, I've not watched too many Hindi movies from before 1991. I get distracted by the dated makeup and hair, but really I just need find an actor I love and and delve in deeply to their films. If I gave the earlier films a better chance, I'd probably find someone to be passionate about. I only tolerated Shah Rukh Khan until I had the chance to see him at the cinema. His performances used to be so broad, they didn't play as well on a small screen. Nowadays he's more subtle, but it depends on the role.

For those that don't know, playback singers perform the songs in Hindi popular cinema, and they're as famous and beloved as the actors are. There's no stigma in India attached to having your singing dubbed. I love Sonu Nigam and Udit Narayan, playback singers who sing often for both Shah Rukh and Aamir Khan (another favorite actor).

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Taking a cue from one of the earliest responses:

COUPLE: Fred & Ginger in Top Hat dancing to "Cheek to Cheek." Plus it features Ginger's infamous feather gown.

GROUP: I'd have to second the vote for "Good Morning" featuring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds.

INDIVIDUAL: Gene Kelly singing the title song in Singin' in the Rain.  Has one dance number and song ever emitted so much joy? I defy anyone to watch this routine and not be cheered up by it.

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