Friday, May 10, 2013

Fruggin' Out With My Baby





How unflappably dapper and elegant was Fred Astaire? So dapper and elegant, that he could dance with a mini-skirted partner half his age amid retro-mod scenery, and still come off as timelessly cool rather than hopelessly kitsch. In his honor, we're putting on our top hat, tails, and go-go boots right now.

 
 

FRED ASTAIRE
May 10, 1899 - June 22, 1987

5 comments:

  1. Barrie Chase said in a 2011 interview at Palm Springs, vid on youtube, that you can freeze any frame of any movie with Fred Astaire and see all his positions have good lines. No places where a foot or a hand is in a weird position. Very few dancers have this ability.

    And of Barrie Chase, take a look at what movies she was in. Her name may not be as common as Cyd Charisse or Ann Miller but she performed in ***all*** the good musicals.

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    1. I was doing some research on Ms. Chase a while back (as I'm wont to do: lazily Googling the likes of Ruta Lee or Carole Cook just for fun), since I was curious as to why someone with her talent, looks and exposure (thanks to her connection with Astaire) never became a star in her own right.

      Nearly every contemporaneous article I found on her from the fifties and sixties commented on her prickly personality and what was construed as a bad attitude. When Chase was a mystery guest on What's My Line, the panel even commented on her seeming surliness (blindfolded!) before they even knew who it was!

      Whether she actually was difficult, or just misunderstood, that seems to solve the mystery of Barrie Chase - plus, of course, the fact that movie musicals were going the way of the dodo bird by the late fifties when she came along...

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  2. Miss Chase is, thankfully, still with us - and celebrates her 80th birthday this October! She and Mr Astaire together created some of the campest dance routines in his career, and for that we are eternally grateful. Jx

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    1. And, to his everlasting credit, the routines' inherent campiness, and Chase's youth and almost masculine aggressiveness, never overpower Astaire or make him seem even slightly ridiculous. He operates on a completely different station, serenely and effortlessly elegant...

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  3. I was sure Chase died some years back - where did I get that from? Thanks for the clips - she and Cyd and Rita must have been Fred's best partners .... oh, one has to include Ginger too, if only for SWINGTIME.

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