Monday, May 5, 2008

The Best Tap Dancing Ever Captured on Film

Yeah, what the title of the post says... Actually, this might be the best tap dancing in the history of tap dancing. It's certainly got my vote. I just can't conceive of anything better.

This is the very famous sequence of Cole Porter's "Beguin the Beguine" from Broadway Melody of 1940, starring Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell. It's an extremely lavish number, and quite long, so if you're impatient, Fred and Eleanor dance twice together, at the 2:30 mark and again at the 6:45 mark. And if you're really, really impatient, the best part is the bit that begins at the 6:45 mark. That's the real show-stopper, the legendary tap dancing that everyone talks about (or if they don't, they should). But seriously, watch the whole thing and contextualize. It won't hurt you.

I bought the DVD just for this dancing. I haven't even watched the whole film yet. But if it sucks, the dancing is more than worth what I paid. I had to have it. I'm so in love with what Astaire and Powell do.

Oh, and fun fact: "Begin the Beguine" is mentioned in The Little Mermaid's own show-stopper, "Under the Sea." I never quite knew what Sebastian was saying in this one line, but it finally clicked: "When the sardine begin the beguine, it's music to me." Excellent. I adore Howard Ashman and Alan Menken even more for this obvious Astaire/Powell shout-out.

Remember, the magic number is 6:45. Are you ready?

This will blow your minds.

1 comment:

Bill Treadway said...
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