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Giannina

Ann Miller

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Ann Miller died yesterday. Many of us old-timers remember her from the hay-day of movie musicals. Always enjoyable on screen, and in real life an entertaining character. Coincidentally I saw "On The Town" on TV just this week.

Giannina

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I saw Ann Miller in ANYTHING GOES in Miami when I was a kid and my memory of her belting "Blow Gabriel, Blow" is vivid.

She always came backstage after Joffrey performances in LA and was charming and down to earth.

If you have not already seen her rendition of "It's Too Darn Hot" (in 3D), from KISS ME KATE you darn well should!

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And who (of a certain age) can forget her tap-dancing commercial for Great American Soups? :P

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I was so sad to hear about her death -- she was so exuberant and brash in her performing, almost a perfect example of a certain style of film musical dancing. For me, "Too Darn Hot" is probably her most typical work (the one I think of first when I think of her), but I treasure the "From This Moment On" number from the same film, for different reasons -- with the appearance of Bob Fosse and Carol Haney it seems to mark a transition to a new style of jazz dance and a new kind of film dance performance.

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I liked her rooftop dance with Tommy Rall, too. She danced better in "Kiss Me Kate" than in any other movie I've seen with her. Miller's style always seemed a trifle robotic to me – it seems to be an occupational hazard with women tap dancers, Eleanor Powell had the same problem to my eye – but having Fosse, Rall, Bobby Van, et al., in the vicinity seems to have been an inspiration.

The "From This Moment On" number is interesting for the reasons sandik mentioned – most of it was done by Hermes Pan in traditional big musical style, but Fosse was allowed to set his dance with Haney, and as soon as the two of them slink on you know something new is brewing (it's noticeable even if you don't know Fosse is Fosse).

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