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Your Favorite Astaire or Kelly?


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Wow, gijon 123, you are really passionate about this subject. Okay we see that Astaire is your favorite but trying to prove that he was BETTER? No ma'am, that's not what the post was asking. I wrote earlier that we should not try to compare them but embrace them both for what they had to offer to the film musical. Saying that you don't need sex, you'd be just fine dancing with Fred Astaire, what is that about? We all know Gene was better looking and his body was much more muscular but please lets respect him, he wanted to be known as an inovated, intelligent, deticated dancer and choreographer, not a sex Idol! I realize that you like Fred Astaire very much, I like him too, but like most people you are not looking at both sides. People try to say one person is better but they don't use resourses from both sides. They will read an Autobiography from one of them but not from the other when comparing, and it all comes down to favoritism. Well this post is asking who your favorite is so therefore you have clearly shown Astaire is yours, but lets not disrespect the opposing party. Gene Kelly was just as good as Astaire, not better but equal, and no one can prove otherwise because it's all in opinion. I love them both really! I would never choose between them cause I don't think it's right,that's like comparing Ghandi to Martin Luther King, both Astaire and Kelly had the same amount of detication and were complete prefectionists. I admire them for what they did and how both make me smile watching them. I'm not trying to criticize you, I'm just requesting that you respect both sides. You have alot of Trivia from Fred Astaires point and I thank you for that, you learn something everyday! :) Much Love-Katie ♥

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From a few books I read (on the history of dance), I discovered that sexuality is a major component (sometimes the primary component) in just about every form of dance. Many dances which we now considerd to be very conservative and non-sexual were, at one time, considered to be very sensual and risque. Latin dances are very suggestive of the sexual act. But a slow, intimate, waltz can also seem like a form of love-making. On one survay, the respondants said that dancing together with their partner was the second most intimate thing that they did together. (Sex was the number one intimate thing that they did together). Just touching another human being that you are attracted to can be very sexual and stimulating. (Dancing is publicly sancioned touching.) Classical ballet is considered sensual because it displays, in flowing movement the beauty of the human body in motion (the legs, the arms, etc.).


Fred Astaire is like a clean-cut, virginal Cary Grant. You felt safe with Fred. And you felt cared about and loved.

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I think Gene was handsome throughout his career.


Gene did some of his best dancing in "On The Town", "An American In Paris", and "Singing in the Rain". "An American In Paris" is my favorite Gene Kelly movie.


I just thought the younger, slimmer looking Gene from "Anchors Aweigh" was better looking that the Gene from "An American in Paris". I also think John Weissmuller, Cary Grant, and al Pacino looked handsomer in their early movies. (On the other hand, I think Paul Newman, and Gregory Peck looked handsomer in their mid-forties.)


I also lamented the fact that, because of a dispute with his boss (L.B. Mayer) Gene was unable to make a series of "A" Musicals during his younger years. (I enjoy some of the early movies of Cary Grant, Al Pacino, and Fred Astaire).


I don't think Fred Astaire was handsome. And he certainly wasn't affectionate in most of his movies. I think that he made one great movie:

"The Sky's the Limit". The acting in the movie was supurb, and there was great intimacy between Fred and Joan Leslie.


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Gene Kelly was a text-book tap-dancer. He was a forceful tapper with a ballet posture, who always looked ballanced and in control. Sometimes he would execute close-to-the-ground knee-bends while he tapped (or displayed other acrobatic movements). In some of his most famous solos

(From "An American in Paris", "Singing in the Rain", "Take me out to the Ballgame") he adopted George M. Cohan's style of irish dancing.


In the 1980 PBS special "Putting on the Top Hat" Bob Fosse said, in effect, that Fred Asaire was a risk-taker. That often he place himself in situations where he appeared in danger of falling. But he never fell.


In the beginning of "Top Hat" (which I viewed last night)Fred did a tap solo that seemed to defy gravity. It was a high-speed frezy full twirls, frantic arm movements and assorted in-the-air leg kicks. (This was done before Ginger made her entrance into the picture.)


It was breathtaking demonstation--that no other dancer could re-produce.


But I would not describe it as graceful or elegant. The rest of the movie was filled with graceful and elegant ballroom dancing and sensual latin dancing. This exciting tap number seemed somewhat out of place in this movie.


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From reading my first few posts you might get the impression that Gene Kelly was my favorite dancer.

From reading my last few posts you might get the impression that Fred Astaire was my favorite dancer.


I love Gene Kelly's intimate dancing. And I loved the way he expressed his heart-felt love to his (on-screen) lovers. But he also had a dark side. He had a bad temper.

He was notorious for having temper outbursts on the sets of his pitures. He would publicly insult and humiliate the people he worked with. He caused some of his leading ladies to burst into tears. And he wasn't always gentle with his dance partners: After dancing with Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse's body would always be black & blue.


So Gene had an "Irish temper"; nobody's perfect. He was a great intimate dancer, athletic dancer, jazz dancer, and modern ballet dancer! And he was a great choreographer! And the "An American in Paris Ballet" and the "On the Town" ballets are performances that I dearly love and that I watch regularly. (They always lift me up when I'm feeling blue). But abuse is abuse. And I would'nt always feel safe around Gene Kelly.


I would feel safe around Fred Astaire. In public, he was alway the perfect gentleman. He wasn't as handsome as Cary Grant, but he had Grant's grace and elegance; and he had a charming personality. And he looked great in a tuxedo! And I along with millions of other people around the world consider Fred Astaire to be a great and versatile dancer! Though I often do wish that he would have made more tender and intimate movies like "The Sky's the Limit"!


How can anyone say one person is better that another person? We are all in-perfect children of God. There are many things that I don't like about myself. So who am I to pointe the finger at someone else?


But I love both Kelly and Astaire (or Astaire and Kelly, if you wish)! And I love talking about them. So I risk affending people who disagree with me.


And, as you can see by my posts, one day I will be very passionate about Gene Kelly; and on another day I will be very passionate about Fred Astaire. Neither of them will ever be the perfect person that I would have them be (thank God!). Also, my opinions about several of their dance numbers changes from time to time. That teaches me not to be judgemental about other people's opinions. And I hope I haven't been.


Both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly have charisma!!


Dan Daily, Gene Reynolds, Geouge Murphy, Donald O'Connor, Bob Fosse, Bobby Van, Gower Champion, were all good dancers--but none of them had what Kelly and Astaire had!!

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  • 3 months later...

I love the both of them. Astaire's dancing is so elegant and wonderful while Kelly's dancing is so fun and creative. I would never be able to chose in a million years since they are my favorite stars ever! I've read both of their biographies, own a majority of their movies and have a Gene Kelly CD, so i could go into a pretty detailed discussion but i think this board has had enough arguing so i wont. I go through fazes, sometimes ill go a long while loving Astaire then ill adore Kelly for a while. Now I like them both equally. I cant see how anyone could like one and not the other since they were the biggest stars in the genre, but i guess their might be more Kelly fans out there, now, since he is more attractive and this generation seem to find his dancing more interesting and fun.

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Definitely Astaire.


Did Gene Kelly ever dance on the ceiling? Did he ever dance to some of the best Cole Porter, such as "Night & Day" or "Begin the Beguine?" Did he ever use slow motion? Did he ever dance with firecrackers? Could he hold his own next to Eleanor Powell? Could he play the lightest and frothiest comedy with wit, charm and grace? Did he have more songs written for him than any other male performer? Did he ever have a tribute album by other artists with those great songs?


Mr. Astaire did.

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They both have their own unique styles. Astaire preferred the smaller dance floors and sets, while Kelly was more athletic and his dance floors/sets were a lot bigger. Choosing between them for me would be like choosing between artists based on the size of their canvases.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been a dancer for 12 years and I've always admired Gene Kelly. I see him as a better all-around dancer. Whereas Astaire was almost strictly a tap dancer, Kelly not only tapped but also incorporated tons of ballet and even jazz into his numbers. I also love the fact that Kelly choreographed all the dancing in his films. As a dancer I know that coming up with the steps to dance is much more difficult than simply learning the steps from someone else. It is very hard to tap into your creative juices and do something original without looking simple and child-like.


I think another thing that draws me to Kelly's films is the fact that they were so bright and colorful and, for the most part, carefree. I think Summer Stock, his film with Judy Garland, is a great example of this. The movie was so lighthearted and fun and it included what is perhaps Kelly's best number (with the exception of the ballet in An American In Paris, which is incomparable). His dance with the newspaper and the squeaky floor board was so creative, so fresh, and such a joy to watch. And then, of course, there's his Singin' In the Rain dance which is the essence of classic.


I do give Astaire the credit he deserves. He was a magnificent dancer whose every movement was incredibly fine-tuned. However, when it all comes down to it, I just have to have Kelly.

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> I've been a dancer for 12 years and I've always

> admired Gene Kelly. I see him as a better all-around

> dancer. Whereas Astaire was almost strictly a tap

> dancer, Kelly not only tapped but also incorporated

> tons of ballet and even jazz into his numbers.


I've been a dancer for 32 years, and I must point out that Astaire was definitely a jazz dancer who tapped, even more than he was a tap dancer per se (a la Bill Robinson, for example). He also had a strong grounding in ballet (though I agree that it is not as obvious on the surface as Kelly's ballet training is)--please check out his "Needle in a Haystack" number from The Gay Divorcee. In addition, he more frequently danced with a female partner, in a style that was a mixture of ballroom and jazz tap.


I also

> love the fact that Kelly choreographed all the

> dancing in his films.


So did Fred Astaire--and he choreographed nearly all his partnered dancing, too.


> I think another thing that draws me to Kelly's films

> is the fact that they were so bright and colorful

> and, for the most part, carefree.


I think that also would describe every film Fred Astaire made between 1944 and 1957.


Don't get me wrong, please--I love Gene Kelly and you have every right to prefer him. I just wanted to make sure you were aware of these facts about Fred Astaire (who happens to be my favorite performer of all time).

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I always appreciated Kelly BUT, Astair truly was the most graceful & his elegant styling really surpassed Kelly. Just recall what Cyd Charyse (spelling off) said about dancing with Kelly: when she went home her husband singer Tony Martin always said her body was brused but whereas with Astaire, not ever a mark.

Kelly was good but too - too physical for my taste.

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> Gene Kelly in Brigidoon and American in Paris. He

> was not as big headed as

> Astaire. He was much better looking too.


LOL--I'll assume you mean literally, Genie, as Gene was definitely the possessor of the larger ego!


I know Fred's funny-looking; nevertheless, I find him very attractive.

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  • 3 months later...

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