Fred Astaire was one of the 20th century’s greatest magicians: His sorcery depended on making some of the most complex dancing ever seen on the screen seem as effortless as breathing. Whether it was partnering with Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, Cyd Charisse, or a hat rack—or dancing on the ceiling or on roller skates—he made everything appear easy and elegant. Revered as a genius by everyone from Balanchine to Baryshnikov, Astaire appeared in a total of 133 dance numbers in 31 films, a significant portion of which are considered timeless classics of movie choreography.
Brian Rose, professor emeritus at Fordham University, surveys the sweep of Astaire’s remarkable career, looking at his work both as a soloist and as the most romantic dance partner in Hollywood history in a delightful program illustrated with video clips.
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