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Favorite Dancer(s)


Guest Blackwell, Jackie
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Guest Blackwell, Jackie

We all have a favorite dancer, or dance team from the films. Who's yours? Is it perhaps Fred and Ginger? Or is it one of the not-so obvious? Who do you just adore watching on screen? Who amazes you everytime you watch them dance? Are you just completely awe-stricken by a certain someone?... Do tell!

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Guest Blackwell, Jackie

I have 3..... Fred Astaire -not with Ginger Rogers though, because I honestly believe that she did not do him justice. He was incredible without her. Gene Kelly -I still find him right up there with Fred (although many will disagree). And believe it or not, Judy Garland. In Easter Parade, she showed her stuff! She danced it up with Fred Astaire, meeting his every move! It was beautiful. So my 3 favorites: Fred Astaire Gene Kelly Judy Garland (not in that order)

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Guest jeannecooper

I was a teenager when "That's Entertainment" first came out, and I was introduced to Eleanor Powell. Her grace, power and sheer ability amazed me.

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Guest olmsted, l

I'd have to go with the Nicholas Brothers. Those boys could do the most amazing things with their bodies and tried things that no other dancer would touch.

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There are quite a few to choose from but the three at the top of my head are Eleanor Powell, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and Ann Miller. Tap, tap, tap, tap....tap tap.

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Guest o, rita

Olmstead, I loved the Nicholas Bros., too. They could fly! That dance where they leaped down the stairs is incredible. John Bubbles was a grat dancer from that era of 30's and 40's who is practically unknown. Even Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell would call upon his expertise to learn intricate dance steps he invented. Forget about Michael Jackson John Bubbles was the first person to do the moonwalk and that was in the 40's. He performed the dance step in Stormy Weather; he wore a white tux in the scene with Ethel Waters when she dresses up and steps out to make Little Joe jealous in the nite club. I also enjoyed Fred Astaire, Ray Bolger, Rita Hayworth.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Tarnmoor

I would like to add Cyd Charisse -- not because she was the greatest dancer as such -- but because her legs were so incredible. When I met Ms. Charisse 2 years ago, I told her I had planned to do my master's thesis at UCLA on a 2-volume justification of the cinema as an art form based solely on her legs. That brought a smile to her face.

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Guest Kilduff, John

Cyd Charisse, definitely... The lady was an amazing dancer who exuded sensuality in every move she made. I like the fact that she was stepping even in the 1980s...she was a dancer in a music video by Janet Jackson. The video was "Alright", and it also featured several other notable dancing personalities, including Cab Calloway and the Nicolas Brothers. Adolfo Quinones and Michael Chambers were gifted at breakdancing...I watch the "Breakin'" movies and I'm awed at their liquid and fleet-footed movements. Marine Jahan is good. The lady was Jennifer Beals' dance double in "Flashdance", and played a stripper in "Streets Of Fire" (TCM, please show this movie one day...It's grown into a classic of the 80s). For me, though, based merely on a downpour and an umbrella, my highest marks go to Gene Kelly. To me, he's everything that men should be...He's a good dancer, a good talker and quite an engaging personality. I know Gene isn't the most admired person on these boards, but I like the man. Of course, I neglected to mention Astaire and Rogers...If Gene Kelly was street, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were uptown. The best duo in the biz... Shame that we don't see many great dancers in the movies nowadays. The 00's could use the adrenalin that only comes from the feet of the graceful. Sincerely, John Kilduff

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Guest K, Sandy

John, hopefully we'll see some high steppin' with the release of CHICAGO this Christmas. Catherine Zeta-Jones began her career as a hoofer in the stage version of 42nd Street in London. Since you mentioned Marine Jahan...I preferred the moves of the lovely 80's dancer Cynthia Rhodes, who plays one of the other dancers in FLASHDANCE (of course, you already knew that). She also burns up the floor in Toto's "Rosanna" video, STAYING ALIVE, and DIRTY DANCING.

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Guest olmsted, l

He's not my favorite, but I just LOVE the way James Cagney moves. When he dances, his entire body takes on a new force. I had always known he was a dancer to start out, but I just recently watched Footlight Parade again and call me crazy, but when he danced in that sailor's uniform, he was very sexy.

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Guest K, Sandy

I'll join you in the nuthouse, then, lolmsted, because I also think he's pretty hot in that sailor suit! What is it about him? I find him quite attractive.

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I so agree with you...Cagney is very sexy in an non-traditional way. I love watching him on all those Warner Bros. musicals. He was a great actor and dancer too. My favorite scenes are: 1) Dancing down the White HOuse steps in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY 2) The "Shanghai Lil" dance with Ruby Keeler.

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Guest finnie12, moira

James Cagney sexy? He always moved with authority and a kind of grace--he was so electric and lithe in his movements--when he tilts his head as he listens to a another barfly's story in "The Time of Your Life"(1948) or throws a furious Bette Davis to the ground after she yells "Onions!" while he's kissing her in "The Bride Came C.O.D."(1941) or, for no scripted reason, in a little throw-away movie like "Picture Snatcher"(1933), he does a spontaneous time step dance while moving across a room for a scene when he's hiding from the cops. He played EVERY role as though he had been hired to be a dancer in a show. He was a great dancer and a great artist--in part because his exuberance and his technique, at least to my eyes, was seamless. What's the definition of the work of an artist? Somewhere I read that it's someone who embodies grace under pressure or is inimitable and indescribable in words--you know it when you see it, I guess. He had it all, and oh, yes, he was sexy--especially when he let those beautiful deep set eyes with the long blonde eyelashes do his talking or he looked so happy when he danced. The only other actor I can think of who developed a similar ability to use his eyes alone got alot more praise for it in far fewer films--Laurence Olivier. And Olivier, despite his appeal, never had Jimmy's apparent artlessness on film.

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Guest olmsted, l

Yes, Shanghai Lil is the dance that got me started on him, as I mentioned before, I'm a sucker for cuties in sailor uniforms. And I loved the little sequence in Footlight Parade when he's demonstrating the "cat" dance. I just love the way he moves. I also am partial to him because he's short. I can't help it, I just LOVE short guys (ok, so my husband is 6'3'', but STILL!) Society has always put a stigma that sexy men have to be "tall, dark, and handsome" but he defies all that.

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Guest olmsted, l

Ok, so I'm watching Singin' in the Rain AGAIN last night, but this time, my husband watched it with me. I always loved Donald O'Connor's Make 'Em Laugh routine, but while watching Gene and him do Moses Supposes, my husband says, "I think Donald O'Connor is better than Gene Kelly". I had been thinking the same thing. I know I'm going to get a lot of flack for thinking that, but it's hard to watch Gene when Donnie is dancing...he seems more fluid and natural and his dancing has more personality in it. Just my opinion...I guess it just depends on what appeals to you more.

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Thanks for reminding me about that cat dance in FOOTLIGHT PARADE. He really does move just like a cat! Did he ever do any "hold-the-lady-close" and dance numbers? I can only recall dance numbers where he had a female partner, but they weren't slow dancing or actually touching each other. I wonder if that is due to his height? Or did he do any of this type of dancing and I've just not seen the films? If he did ballroom dance with a lady, I bet it would have been a very sexy dance, because he was an exquisite dancer and he had those caressing eyes....

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I watched it again last night, too and I'd actually have to agree with you. I did think Donald O'Connor was quite better and more exiting than Gene Kelly. Maybe it's because I've never really taken to Kelly that much; I always preferred Fred Astaire. O'Connor's movements are very natural compared to Gene's, not to say that his are "forced" or anything. It also could be because practically everyone who likes musicals has seen Gene Kelly dance a million times, and they know his style by heart, so then to see O'Connor dancing it seems so different and (as you said) fluid. I loved the "Make 'Em Laugh" routine, too, it was one of the best musical numbers...well, okay, they're ALL great!!!

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I don't think I can recall him doing any direct dances with a lady, either. Maybe it was because of his height; just how tall was he, anyway? Yes, he was a lovely dancer...swooooon...

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Guest James, Jennifer

FRED & GINGER! I love Fred and Ginger and own all of their movies. (soundtracks, too) I even bought 2 porcelain dolls of them (The Barkleys of Broadway). I think Gene Kelly and Ann Miller are also excellent dancers, but no one can beat Fred and Ginger. They dance perfectly together, sing together, and made such great movies together.

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Oooh, I LOVE Fred and Ginger, too. They always look fabulous together. I think they made 10 pictures, and I've seen all except CAREFREE and FLYING DOWN TO RIO. My favorites are THE GAY DIVORCEE, TOP HAT, and SHALL WE DANCE, but all of their films are a joy to watch. I love to see Ginger solo, also (in 42nd STREET, BACHELOR MOTHER, STAGE DOOR, etc.). She got a chance to prove she could act and not just sing and dance in her dramatic roles like KITTY FOYLE and she definitely succeeded.

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