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Favorite female dancer who is not one the "obvious" choices


Lagamorpha
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one of the more "popular" ones like Rita Hayworth, Ginger Rogers, Leslie Caron, Cyd Charisse, Eleanor Powell, Ann Miller---you get my drift?

 

I'd like this thread to pay homage to lesser known ones who were great but just not as famous or popular. Or maybe someone famous but isn't celebrated as much for her dancing.

 

Vera Zorina, Brigitte Bardot and Debra Paget for me.

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Debbie Reynolds was a triple threat (actress-singer-dancer) who could really pull off a dance routine when the occasion called for it. As her career went on, she did less and less dancing, but what she did was memorable. Virginia Mayo was no slouch in the dancing department, especially when teamed with Gene Nelson. Marge Champion, though mostly part of a team, was a terrific dancer and a real charmer.

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You missed these obvious ones......Betty Grable, Mitzi Gaynor, aShirley MacLaine and Vera Ellen....

 

 

Both Joan Crawford and.Lana Turner we're occasionally given musicals by MGM. Crawford initially hit it big doing the Charleston in OUR DANCING DAUGHTERS, and in the early 40s,, a remake of this was planned for Turner. Later, Crawford returned to the studio in the early 50s for TORCH SONG, which had been planned originally as a vehicle for Lana.

 

June Haver at 20th, Joan Blondell , Joan Leslie and Ruby Keeler at WB, Lucille Ball at RKO, Clara Bow and Dorothy Lamour at Paramount are some others.

 

My favorite would have to be Carmen Miranda for her overall.zestiness and zaniness.

 

Edited by: Arturo on Nov 7, 2013 7:56 PM

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Toni Basil is a great answer! I saw her in her dance musical in around 1978 or "79. She snd her back up dancers (maybe it WAS the Lockers) performed it for four consecutive Fridays at the Fox Venice in Los Angeles. My friends and I happened to go opening night - half full house- and we liked it so much we went to the next 3 shows. The second week a nearly full house, the third week word was out and it was a sell out. At the final show there were lines around the block and we were fortunate to get seats. Among the celebrities there were Karen Black (I told her she was beautiful!) and Teri Garr. This was a couple of years before "Mickey" for which most people know her.

 

It's a shame she didn't have more of a career as an entertainer, but in the business she is well known as one of THE choreographers - working with Bette Midler, David Bowie, Tina Turner and many others. I got the chance to meet her backstage at a Las Vegas telethon and she's as sharp and funny as can be.

 

And tying this in with another current thread here on the board - at the time she was going with Dean Stockwell!

 

Now why didn't I think of her first?

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Anglea Lansbury and Michele Lee. Unfortunately, Hollywood never truly allowed Lansbury's incredible gifts for singing and dancing to shine; but on Broadway, she dazzled. Her dancing in MAME was jaw-dropping. Michele Lee was a triple threat talent who came on the scene, a bit too late. She, too, was only given Broadway opportunity to shine (and not enough of those, either). The show SEESAW, in which she starred on Broadway, is the best danced show, ever; and, she was a major part of that.

 

However, my favorite dancer (male or female), is Vera-Ellen.

 

Edited by: johnm_001 on Nov 10, 2013 9:11 AM

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Angela Lansbury! I know - I saw her in "Mame" too, and it saddens me whenever I think of the Lucy " Mame" travesty.

You can google Angela performing "Thoroughly Modern Millie" the opening number at the 1968 Academy Awards show. It is two years sfter "Mame" opened on Broadway and the number is Mame-like and of course she is dazzling and brings down the house. It gives a good example of her glorious dancing and what her Mame was on Broadway and what the movie could have been instead of the Ball vanity trip it was. Granted it was a money decision, but I bet the great reviews it probably would have gotten with Angela would have made it a box office hit as opposed to the bomb it was. Served them right - sometimes I hate Hollywood!

 

I tried watching the movie once on tv gritting my teeth and Lucille Ball should have been ashamed of herself - her croaking voice sounds like an old man, she can't sing a note, can't dance, and is photographed through so many filters you feel like your tv screen must be dirty. As some wit said about Diana Ross in "The Wiz" (another horror show!) she must have had a whim of iron to sign on for the role. I turned off "Mame" halfway through the movie and played Angela and the OBC recording instead.

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