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Besides Ginger who danced well with Fred?

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Well, Gene Kelly of course...   I'd say Cyd Charisse because she matched his elegance and had enough dance training to keep up with him.   With other partners he might have had to dumb down routines.   Found this list of Astaire solo and partnered numbers: Wikipedia Astaire dance list

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Pastiche said:

Well, Gene Kelly of course...   I'd say Cyd Charisse because she matched his elegance and had enough dance training to keep up with him.   With other partners he might have had to dumb down routines.   Found this list of Astaire solo and partnered numbers: Wikipedia Astaire dance list

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 2.11.55 PM.jpg

I'd say he probably dumbed down his routines with Paulette Goddard. She was definitely not a dancer but bravely took the assignment and wanted to work with him.

Joan Fontaine definitely was not a dancer either.

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 2.12.23 PM.jpg

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Ann Miller’s solo routine in Easter Parade is spectacular.  But they I don’t think they actually danced together. I need to review the movie. 

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Who other than Ginger??  I won't take anything away from Ginger and all her years of hard and great work with Fred, but go watch the "Girl Hunt" number in Band Wagon and you will have your answer ..Cyd Chariss, hands down!

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33 minutes ago, starryeyzze said:

Ann Miller’s solo routine in Easter Parade is spectacular.  But they I don’t think they actually danced together. I need to review the movie. 

I believe they did. The number "It Only Happens When I Dance With You".

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Watch Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire dance to Begin the Beguine in Broadway Melody of 1940.  No question, hands down she's the best!

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Cyd Charisse and Astaire are wonderful together as dancers (in Silk Stockings as well as Band Wagon) though they are never as believable a couple as Fred and Ginger.I really liked Astaire and Garland in Easter Parade. They both have a jazzy and American style that often came out in his solo tap numbers but not in his dances with partners. I thought that Audrey Hepburn and Astaire were great together in the title song from Funny Face.

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Eleanor Powell of course.  I also think Judy Garland danced well with Fred.  She was one of the few partners that you watched instead of Fred.

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1 hour ago, starryeyzze said:

Ann Miller’s solo routine in Easter Parade is spectacular.  But they I don’t think they actually danced together. I need to review the movie. 

I love Ann Miller's "Shakin' the Blues Away".  It's one of the numbers I rewind and watch again.  She did indeed dance with Fred in the reprisal of "It Only Happens When I Dance with You" in the rooftop club.

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5 hours ago, TopBilled said:

The always energetic Betty Hutton teams up with Fred Astaire in Paramount's hit musical LET'S DANCE (1950). You can tell Fred really enjoys working with Betty in this movie:

Screen shot 2016-08-31 at 9.11.54 PM.jpg 

One of our message board posters has ranked all of Betty Hutton's films on his blog:

http://www.ultimatemovierankings.com/betty-hutton-movies/

Fred Astaire and Betty Hutton had a great deal of difficulty working together on this film.

She was a musical comedy star of the 40s and had made a living singing with the Vincent Lopez Orchestra.

She wasn't a bad musical comedy dancer at all.

 However she was flustered and intimidated by working with the Astaire and spent a great deal of time breaking down during the shooting.

 Their personalities don't mix at all in this movie and that is an understatement.

However, I always enjoyed watching this movie even though it's such an uneven presentation.

One of Fred Astaire's most creative, inventive and esoteric solos: " The Piano Dance" is in the movie. Many people have seen the solo, but the film is rarely discussed.

The number that I remember best between Fred and Betty was awfully cute and entertaining, " Oh, Them Dudes".

It reminds me a little bit of Fred and Judy in "A Couple of Swells".

 Fred and Betty are dressed as tough Outlaw Cowboys who shoot up a television set showing a Western.

The plot is convoluted --but they are nearly all convoluted in musicals.

This was an attempt to cash in on two big box office stars that just didn't work. But both performers were pros and gave credible performances anyway.

 The lackluster Music was by a Broadway genius, Guys and Dolls Frank Loesser. Astaire only had the top musical comedy composers working with him.

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1 minute ago, Princess of Tap said:

Fred Astaire and Betty Hutton had a great deal of difficulty working together on this film.

She was a musical comedy star of the 40s and had made a living singing with the Vincent Lopez Orchestra.

She wasn't a bad musical comedy dancer at all.

 However she was flustered and intimidated by working with the Astaire and spent a great deal of time breaking down during the shooting.

 Their personalities don't mix at all in this movie and that is an understatement.

However, I always enjoyed watching this movie even though it's such an uneven presentation.

One of Fred Astaire's most creative, inventive and esoteric solos: " The Piano Dance" is in the movie. Many people have seen the solo, but the film is rarely discussed.

The number that I remember best between Fred and Betty was awfully cute and entertaining, " Oh, Them Dudes".

It reminds me a little bit of Fred and Judy in "A Couple of Swells".

 Fred and Betty are dressed as tough Outlaw Cowboys who shoot up a television set showing a Western.

The plot is convoluted --but they are nearly all convoluted in musicals.

This was an attempt to cash in on two big box office stars that just didn't work. But both performers were pros and gave credible performances anyway.

 The lackluster Music was by a Broadway genius, Guys and Dolls Frank Loesser. Astaire only had the top musical comedy composers working with him.

Thanks Princess for your more detailed notes about this film. They fooled me...on screen they seem to enjoy their scenes together. It's actually one of my very favorite Fred Astaire musicals. Betty's so energetic and brings a whole level of pep to the production. Incidentally we should mention that Betty has top billing because LET'S DANCE was made at her home studio (Paramount) where she was the reigning musical comedy queen.

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2 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 2.11.55 PM.jpg

I'd say he probably dumbed down his routines with Paulette Goddard. She was definitely not a dancer but bravely took the assignment and wanted to work with him.

Joan Fontaine definitely was not a dancer either.

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 2.12.23 PM.jpg

Fred Astaire was a great Dance Artist so he always had difficulty if he had to work with someone who was not trained as a dancer.

He had his own artistic standards to keep up and he really didn't lower them, no matter what the ability of the partner was.

It took Fred and Hermes Pan, Fred's choreographic assistant, several years before they got Ginger Rogers up to speed to where they could actually do the kind of things that they wanted to do in the RKO series.

Ginger had won a Charleston contest,  which got her into show business. She had a lot of potential and enthusiasm but no actual training.  As a result, she could only fake the tap dancing in the movies, while Hermes Pan had to perform the actually tap dance for her in the recording sessions.

Fred was fortunate in being able to work with so many well-trained dancers like Lucille Bremer and Vera-Ellen at Metro.

He also worked with Eleanor Powell and Ann Miller at Metro--they were primarily tap dancers, and were trained in ballet like him, so their performances were accomplished and on a very high level.

At Columbia he danced with Rita Hayworth. Rita Hayworth's father was Eduardo Cansino, who had trained Fred Astaire in Latin ballroom dancing. Cansino had also trained Rita in every form of Dance. I would invite you to watch him dancing with Rita Hayworth.  You can see exactly the difference in his performance when he has a partner who is on a higher level and who he can relate to artistically without lowering his standards or worrying about her.

At 20th Century Fox, he danced with Leslie Caron, a French trained ballet dancer who Gene Kelly discovered. They made an excellent dance team in "Daddy Long Legs".

At Paramount Fred danced with the equally European and equally well trained ballet dancer Audrey Hepburn. And in" Funny Face" you have again a high standard of dancing that was equal to Fred's demands.

But I think that I could safely say that the work he did with Cyd Charisse was probably the most satisfying and equalizing experience for him. Again Cyd was a rigidly- trained ballet dancer who have been taught jazz dancing by Gene Kelly.  "The Girl Hunt Ballet" along with "Dancing in the Dark" from "The Band Wagon " would illustrate that best.

 

Having said all of this, many authorities on Fred Astaire claim that his sister Adele was his best partner when she danced with him on Broadway.

While others swear that Fred's most sympatico partner was Barrie Chase, who danced with him on television in 4 critically acclaimed TV specials taped live on NBC.

 

I don't know--I just really prefer to watch Fred Astaire dance with Fred Astaire. LOL

 

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Let's not forget the sensational Barrie Chase. This dance sequence to Cy Coleman's song "Pussy_Cat" aired on ABC's January 22, 1966 telecast of "The Hollywood Palace." He was 67; she was 33.

So hard to believe she's 84 now -- and one of the surviving cast members of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."

 

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3 hours ago, Lanin said:

I believe they did. The number "It Only Happens When I Dance With You".

Thank you, that was a slow number.  I wanted to see those two really go head to head.  Its only my opinion but Miller was the better  than Powell and Keeler. I think she would given Fred a run for his money. And it is curious that he did not do a really big show stopping number with her because they co-starred..... I wish I could have seen these two, I bet it was something!

 

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58 minutes ago, Pastiche said:

Evidently there's no footage of Adele and Fred dancing, per this BBC item: Adele Astaire - the dancer who could have been #1   

I've seen one brief pastiche on YouTube of Fred and Adele doing traveling buffalos with Broadway star Marilyn Miller in a promo for an upcoming show.  If you blink you'll miss it.

 

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17 minutes ago, starryeyzze said:

Thank you, that was a slow number.  I wanted to see those two really go head to head.  Its only my opinion but Miller was the better  than Powell and Keeler. I think she would given Fred a run for his money. And it is curious that he did not do a really big show stopping number with her because they co-starred..... I wish I could have seen these two, I bet it was something!

 

  • de410cadbf337edf81388e6af3df23c8--old-ho

Ann Miller did not co-star with Astaire in Easter Parade.

Judy Garland co-starred was Fred Astaire in Easter Parade. 

 This movie was a comeback for Fred Astaire after retirement. It wasn't a real retirement in terms of his age or ability. He quit in his mid-forties because he couldn't obtain a movie contract or carry a movie anymore on his own.

So Judy Garland is the star of Easter Parade. But after his great success in  Easter Parade, Fred Astaire became a musical comedy film star all over again for the post-war audience.

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Check out Daddy Long Legs with Leslie Caron. He was much older than her but their dancing was so smooth and he was dancing out of his element. (He doesn’t start dancing until about 1:41. Be patient.)

 

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I'd say Cyd Charisse without a doubt. The number "Dancing In The Dark" from The Band Wagon was absolutely fantastic. And Judy Garland as well. They only worked together in Easter Parade but the impact is obvious. 

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