Busby Berkley (1895–1976) was one of greatest choreographers of the early American movie musical. While working in Hollywood, he convinced Samuel Goldwyn to use camera close-ups on female chorus line dancers and overhead shots of dancers to create a kaleidoscope effect in his movies. One of his greatest movie successes was 42nd Street (1933). [flowplayer mp4=”http://music.clarinerd.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/42ndstreet.mp4″ width=”480″ height=”360″ skin=”minimalist”]
Fred Astaire (1899–1987) was one of the greatest dancers ever seen on film. He insisted that he be photographed full-figure so the audience could see his entire body in the scene. One of his most innovative routines in the movie Royal Wedding involved a camera that rotated 360 degrees so that it appeared as if Astaire was dancing on the… Continue reading Fred Astaire (1899-1987)
Gene Kelly (1912–1996) was known for his energetic and athletic style of dancing. He was a major force during the 1940s and 50s. He is most well known for his performance in Singing in the Rain (1952) as well as being codirector, lead star, and choreographer of that movie. Kelly also was the first to use an animated character… Continue reading Gene Kelly (1912-1996)
Jerome Robbins (1918–1998) choreographed many musicals during the 1940s and 50s. His most well-known musicals included The King and I (1951) and his most notable work, West Side Story (1957). His innovative choreography, along with composer Leonard Bernstein, created a contemporary version of Romeo and Juliet as seen through the gangs of New York City. [flowplayer mp4=”http://music.clarinerd.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/west-side-story.mp4″ width=”1280″… Continue reading Jerome Robbins (1918-1998)
Bob Fosse (1927–1987) was a successful Broadway choreographer who developed his own signature style through the use of small body isolations while moving the torso in an undulating manner. His often quirky movement was accentuated by the use of turned-in leg positions and sometimes employed the use of a hat. He choreographed such musicals as Damn Yankees (1958), Sweet… Continue reading Bob Fosse (1927–1987)
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Michael Bennett’s (1943–1987) most successful musical was A Chorus Line, which opened on Broadway in 1975 and closed in 1990 after presenting 6,137 performances.
Agnes DeMille (1905–1993) choreographed some of the biggest Broadway hits of the 1940s and 50s, such as Carousel (1945), Brigadoon (1947), and Paint Your Wagon (1951). In 1942, she was asked by The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo to create a new ballet for the company, and she choreographed Rodeo (1943), which was a huge success. Following this triumph, Richard Rodgers and… Continue reading Agnes DeMille (1905-1993)
Mikhail Baryshnikov trained with the Kirov Ballet in Russia, where he was a principal dancer. In 1974, he defected to the United States and instantly became a star soloist. After dancing for the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) and the New York City Ballet, he became the director of ABT in 1980. Under his direction, ABT became a strong, vital… Continue reading Mikhail Baryshnikov (1948–Present)
Alvin Ailey, an American dancer and choreographer, is seen as one of leading modern dance artists of the mid-to-late twentieth century. His company, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, was the first black dance company to travel abroad, and he was regarded as a great ambassador for black American modern dance throughout the world. His most famous work, Revelations,… Continue reading Alvin Ailey (1931–1989)