Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Musicals on Tap


Recommended Posts

I believe the show was "Top Speed", and the collaborator was Ginger Rogers. When they worked together in movies, he would teach Ginger the routine before she would rehearse it with Fred. He also did her taps for the soundtrack in post production. IMDB says that he was such a perfectionist that he did them in high heels for authenticity. Now cujas, I'm no expert, but can you really tell from the sound if taps are made by a man or a woman?

Now, there was a man who started as a dancer in vaudeville and later danced on Broadway, who became a dance director on Broadway in the 1930's and 40's. He worked in shows featuring music by Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. He did a little work in Hollywood in the thirties, but it was in the forties that he was the dance director on many a top musical film. He is sometimes credited with discovering Gene Kelly, and for helping to further the careers of Ray Bolger and Bette Grable. He became dance director at MGM in 1944. Later the title was changed to choregrapher. He was working on choreographing a musical film that was an adaptation of a Broadway show that he had worked on years earlier, when he died and was replaced by Hermes Pan. Who was this talented choregrapher?

Link to post
Share on other sites

He is the unsung, largely unkown, genius of not only Hollywood choreography, but Broadway, as well, Bob Alton. He really created complex choreography on stage. Pan took over Pal Joey after his death.

 

As for taps--they're like playing the piano or cello--sex isn't an issue. But you can certainly identify any tap dancer, just by listening to the taps. Try it sometime.

 

Miles--I'll come up with another one, unless you already have one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

An FYI...I hope you and cujas caught CBS Sunday Morning's feature on Tap Pups and its story. Great comeback of a mom who started a tap for adults school. I'm sitting with my tap shoes on right now...went out with the dog and did the time step on the patio (;

Link to post
Share on other sites

Edythe--I specialized in teaching adults--those you wanted to take as kids but couldn't--They were the only students I wanted.

 

Next: This legendary tap dancer was originally 1/2 of a legendary team--not bros!

 

He only made a handful of films--quite well known ones though. But his forte was live performance in concert and on Broadway.

 

Hint: had a famous nickname.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This tap dancer was in the Tap Dance Hall of Fame--Was the member of a tap duo who appeared with a famous big band and he won the Tony Award on Broadway for tap dancing with one of Broadway's top Tap Dancers.--Enough Hints?

 

Miles--are you en vancances?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Moi, en vacances? No, No Mademoiselle. And that's about the extent of my french. You know, dear cujas, you've been on these boards rather infrequently yourself of late and I had sort of forgotten this question. I believe that you are asking about Charles "Honi" Coles, who teamed with Cholly Atkins to form a dance team that danced with Cab Calloway's band. Coles appeared on Broadway way back in 1949 in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", and later in "Bubbling Brown Sugar" and "My One And Only". He won a Tony award for "My One And Only", where he danced with Tommy Tune. The show featured Gershwin music and it's run was about a decade before "Crazy For You". Here is a link that I found to the tap dance hall of fame inductees.

 

http://www.atdf.org/hall.html

 

You know, it appears that most of the well known tappers are there, but I don't see Gene Kelly's name. Could that be an oversight? I also don't see anyone named cujas. That nickname thing seems to work for some of them. I wouldn't want to call you Pegleg or Stumpy. Maybe we can get you nominated if we call you "Honi" Cujas, or perhaps you have another nickname that you prefer. Please let us know.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Miles, Bonjour!

 

I can always count on you. The great Honi Coles was a Broadway treasure. You can catch his tapes on the soundtrack of Tommy Tune's "My One and Only".--FYI--the Gershwins wrote that song for, you guessed it, Fred Astaire.

 

FYI-2--I was a good hoofer,thank-you, but I'll never be in the Tap Dance Hall of Fame.

 

FYI 3--According to my ex, you can call me Madame!

 

Miles--it's your turn to shuffle off to buffalo, but remember, if you tap with me, I do a shuffle ball change break!

Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a Broadway musical that featured tap dancing. One of the main stars was a young man who was quite a talented tap dancer. The show, however, got mixed reviews. The young man left the show to be a regular on a TV sitcom, playing the friend of the star. He was replaced in the Broadway show by an even younger dancer who was making his professional debut. The new star posessed a world of talent. He was also fortunate in that he was taught by some of the best dancers around. A decade or so later, he won a Tony award for choreographing a musical with a distinctly different style. He has only appeared in a couple of movies and TV shows. He has been a mainstay of musical theater and live performances. He has also become one of the most respected dance teachers in America. The first dancer, the one who left to do a TV sitcom, also did another sitcom where he played the friend of the star. He never became a major star. Years later, he ended up as a game show host. Can you name these two performers and the Broadway show that launched their respective careers?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I think I actually stumped cujas on a tap dance question! Excuse me a moment while I mark this down on my calendar. (wait a bit) There, now we can go on. I think the problem is that the first young man, who left Broadway to do TV sitcoms and a game show, was rarely called upon to dance on TV, so most people probably don't realize that he was a dancer. I'll give everyone a hint. You're probably going back too far in time. The Broadway show was in the early eighties. The two young men were young adolescents when they appeared in the show. Since the show got somewhat mixed reviews, most people now are probably not very familiar with it. Here's the biggest hint of all. One of the teachers of the second young man was the aforementioned Charles "Honi" Coles. Does that help?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Miles--I think you've stumped me before, but you're too much of a gentleman to remind me.

 

Now, I'm thinking of kids--in fact, "The Tap Dance Kid" on Broadway was Alfonso Ribeiro, who gained fame on "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" and before that "Silver Spoons". Savion Glover, the wunderkind of tap dance, took over for him in this show.

 

Miles, I'm vamping now--

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it took a little time, but you can stop vamping now. Alfonso Ribeiro left "The Tap Dance Kid" to play Ricky Schroeder's friend on "Silver Spoons". Some years later, he was on "The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air" and did get to occasionally do a few dance steps. The game show is "Catch 21" on the Game Show Network. Savion Glover was only about ten or eleven years old when he made his debut in "The Tap Dance Kid". Among his teachers were Honi Coles, the Hines brothers, and Sammy Davis Jr. When Honi Coles died, Savion did a tribute dance at the funeral that included some of Honi Coles' more famous steps. In the nineties, Glover won a Tony for choreographing "Bring in Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk".

 

Hey cujas, were you ever called "The Tap Dance Kid"? You can tap your way to the next question. .

Link to post
Share on other sites

Miles--when I was a kid every little girl and every 25th little boy were in tap shoes.

 

On with the show--

 

This tap duo were legendary vaudevillians who ended up teaching and coaching two of Hollywood's biggest tap stars. One actually had them dancing with him in a film and utilized them for his greatest musical tap role.

 

Here we're talking about 4 tap dancers--the 2 Hollywood stars are very well-known, as are their movies.

 

Hint:--we're talking Buck 'n Wing here, i.e. hoofers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Miles--we're waiting for Godot and you!

 

2 Irish-American tap dancers who made it possible for another Irish-American tap dancer to cinematically enshrine the greatest Irish-American tap dancer of all. 2nd part was the old tap vaudeville team also taught one of the movies 3rd greatest Irish-American tap dancers.

 

Erin go blah

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well cujas, this question is a bit more complicated than it first appears. There are quite a few Irish-Amarican dancers in movies and probably even more in vaudeville. The movie dancers include Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Ray Bolger, George Murphy, Dan Dailey, and James Cagney. Even Ruby Keeler was of Irish descent, although she was originally from Canada. Vaudevillians include Eddie Foy and the Seven Little Foys, George M. Cohan and the Four Cohans, and Pat Rooney Sr. and Pat Rooney Jr. There was a well known dance team of Jimmy Doyle and Harland Dixon (Doyle and Dixon) whose specialty was the Buck and Wing. They were together for about nine years, but the act split up in the early twenties. Dixon was the hard working, creative one, but Doyle preferred to spend his time at the racetrack or carousing, rather than rehearsing. Doyle tried to make it on his own, but couldn't. He died in 1927. They had worked with George M. Cohan and it was Dixon that mentored a young James Cagney and taught him to dance like Cohan. Actress Mae Clarke also worked with Dixon. There was another Irish dancer named Johnny Boyle. He had worked with and for legendary dancer Jack Donahue. Donahue had opened a dance school and Boyle was one of his instructors. One of their pupils was a young Eleanor Powell. They taught her to practice with sandbags hanging from her waist. Donahue died in 1930 at age 38. In 1937, James Cagney appeared in a movie called "Something To Sing About". In one number, he danced on the deck of a ship with Harland Dixon and Johnny Boyle. That's one of those movies that is in public domain and is available on inexpensive DVD's. Doyle and Dixon were both Canadians of Irish descent. Cujas, you may have been thinking of someone else as a student of them, but I can find no more evidence By the way, of all of the dancers that I mentioned here, only Donald O'Connor and Eleanor Powell are in the Tap Dance Hall Of Fame.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Miles--You did, indeed, answer the question and then went on to write a chapter of a tap PhD dissertation.

 

Harland Dixon taught Cagney when he was a hoofer on Broadway.

 

Donald O'Connor's mother also hired Dixon to teach her son when their vaudeville act ended and he wanted to go into movies.

 

Johnny Boyle and Harland Dixon, who did an act after Doyle and Dixon, were dancing with Cagney in "Something to Sing About". Dixon choreographed the movie.

 

Boyle coached Cagney for "Yankee Doodle Dandy".

 

That answers the question--As for Eleanor Powell, Jack Donahue gave her her first tap lessons; but she was already an accomplished ballet dancer. Her teacher was Fokine, the last great choreographer of the Czar's ballet theatre in St. Petersburg. Bojangles, himself, was said to be the teacher her gave her the tap technique that made her famous. It was also said that Adele Astaire studied with Bo as well.

 

As for me, I studied with Lou Conte in Chicago, Delia Weddington Stewart in Evanston and Georges "Taps" King in Paris--the dancer who stood in for Astaire and Kelly when they filmed in France.

 

After this Miles--you've go to buy tap shoes. You are trully one of us!

 

Miles--flap-ball-change on to center stage--

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Thanks. If you have a PHD in tap, are you a doctor of tapology? Now, you've heard and seen The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Supremes, and Gladys Knight And The Pips. Those groups, along with several others, were big recording stars for Motown records starting in the sixties. They were talented singers, but, since they did a lot of TV work, as well as live stage appearances, it was important to Motown that they were well choreographed. To work with the groups on their choreography, Motown hired a dancer who had started in vaudeville and later danced with big bands and on Broadway. He had worked as a choregrapher with a group called The Cadillacs in the fifties. Later he worked with non-Motown groups like The Sylvers and The O'Jays. This dancer eventually choreographed a Broadway musical, and later was elected to the Tap Dance Hall Of Fame. I believe he was mentioned in this thread not too long ago. Can you name him?

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

h1. Cholly Atkins

 

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

 

Cholly Atkins 180px-Cholly_Atkins.jpghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cholly_Atkins.jpg Born Charles Sylvan Atkinson

(1913-09-30)September 30, 1913

[Pratt City, Alabama|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratt_City,_Alabama|Pratt City, Alabama], [uSA|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States|United States] Died April 19, 2003(2003-04-19) (aged 89)

[Las Vegas, Nevada|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Vegas,_Nevada|Las Vegas, Nevada], [uSA|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States|United States] Occupation [Choreographer|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choreographer|Choreographer], [dancer|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance|Dance]

 

*Charles “Cholly” Atkins* (September 30, 1913 – April 19, 2003)^[dancer|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholly_Atkins#cite_note-0]^ was an American [dancer|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dancer|Dancer] and [vaudeville|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaudeville|Vaudeville] performer, who later became noted as the house [choreographer|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choreographer|Choreographer] for the various artists on the [Motown|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motown|Motown] label.

 

 

Born *Charles Sylvan Atkinson*, a native of [Pratt City, Alabama|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratt_City,_Alabama|Pratt City, Alabama], Atkins first found fame as one-half of a top vaudeville [tap dancing|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tap_dancing|Tap dancing] act with partner [Charles "Honi" Coles|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Coles|Charles Coles]. After working as a freelance choreographer for [The Miracles|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Miracles|The Miracles], Atkins was hired by [berry Gordy|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berry_Gordy|Berry Gordy] to work as a Motown choreographer in 1964, and set about developing the routines that would later become the trademark moves of other Motown acts like [The Supremes|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Supremes|The Supremes], [The Temptations|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Temptations|The Temptations] (Atkins was also featured in the video for their hit single "[Lady Soul|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Soul|Lady Soul]"), [The Four Tops|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Tops|The Four Tops], [Gladys Knight & The Pips|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladys_Knight_%26_The_Pips|Gladys Knight & The Pips] and others. Atkins would, in fact, continue working with Motown artists well into the 1980s. He choreographed for non-Motown artists as well, namely the dance routines of [The Cadillacs|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cadillacs|The Cadillacs] in the 1950s, and [the Sylvers|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sylvers|The Sylvers] and [The O'Jays|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_O%27Jays|The O'Jays] during the mid-1970s. He also worked with Detroit rock band DC Drive and is featured in the "You Need Love" video. Cholly is also known by a few Detroit dancers to created the Partner dance known as the Graystone, name after the great Graystone Ballroom. The dance rhythm is slow, quick, quick, slow, quick, quick.

 

In 1989, Atkins received a [Tony Award|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Award|Tony Award] for choreographing the [broadway|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadway_theatre|Broadway theatre] show [black and Blue|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_and_Blue_%28musical%29|Black and Blue (musical)]. Diagnosed with [pancreatic cancer|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancreatic_cancer|Pancreatic cancer] in March 2003, Atkins died of the cancer several weeks later on April 19, 2003 [Las Vegas, Nevada|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Vegas,_Nevada|Las Vegas, Nevada]. He was five months short of his 90th birthday

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...