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The M-G-M MusicalWas: The Varsity Drag


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#46 Barbara

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 08:18 AM

Thanks, miliosr! It sounds like one I would enjoy.



#47 sandik

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 09:58 PM

I'll have to look for this one.  I wouldn't have pegged Champion and Fosse as stylistically compatible -- in Kiss Me Kate, in the "From This Moment On" number, Fosse's duet seems like a significant break from the received hoofing style of Ann Miller and Tommy Rall.



#48 miliosr

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 02:55 PM

Thanks, miliosr! It sounds like one I would enjoy.

Your welcome. If you go into it with modest expectations, you'll actually find there's a lot to enjoy from a dance standpoint.

 

 

 

I wouldn't have pegged Champion and Fosse as stylistically compatible -- in Kiss Me Kate, in the "From This Moment On" number, Fosse's duet seems like a significant break from the received hoofing style of Ann Miller and Tommy Rall.

Keep in mind that M-G-M filmed Give a Girl a Break before Kiss Me Kate but released the former one week after the latter. At the time, Fosse was annoyed that the studio had assigned him to Kiss Me Kate because he felt his part as a tertiary lead (w/ Bobby Van) after Howard Keel and Tommy Rall was a step down for him after being a secondary lead in Give a Girl a Break.

 

In Give a Girl a Break, the later Fosse style is not so much in evidence in the numbers he choreographed. He's still very much in a Fred Astaire style. And, in any event, even if Fosse had already hit on the innovation he showed in his duet portion of "From This Moment On" in Give a Girl a Break, Debbie Reynolds would never have been the kind of dancer to bring it to life the way Carol Haney did. (Note to all: Hermes Pan is credited as the choreographer for Kiss Me Kate but Fosse choreographed for Haney and himself in their sub-section of "From This Moment On".)

 

I actually think Fosse does a good job of harmonizing with Ann Miller and Tommy Rall in "Tom, Dick and Harry" and the group sections of "From This Moment On". The person who really stands out as the weak link is Bobby Van, especially in the "Tom, Dick and Harry" number. 



#49 sandik

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 09:57 AM

Your welcome. If you go into it with modest expectations, you'll actually find there's a lot to enjoy from a dance standpoint.

 

 

 

Keep in mind that M-G-M filmed Give a Girl a Break before Kiss Me Kate but released the former one week after the latter. At the time, Fosse was annoyed that the studio had assigned him to Kiss Me Kate because he felt his part as a tertiary lead (w/ Bobby Van) after Howard Keel and Tommy Rall was a step down for him after being a secondary lead in Give a Girl a Break.

 

In Give a Girl a Break, the later Fosse style is not so much in evidence in the numbers he choreographed. He's still very much in a Fred Astaire style. And, in any event, even if Fosse had already hit on the innovation he showed in his duet portion of "From This Moment On" in Give a Girl a Break, Debbie Reynolds would never have been the kind of dancer to bring it to life the way Carol Haney did. (Note to all: Hermes Pan is credited as the choreographer for Kiss Me Kate but Fosse choreographed for Haney and himself in their sub-section of "From This Moment On".)

 

I actually think Fosse does a good job of harmonizing with Ann Miller and Tommy Rall in "Tom, Dick and Harry" and the group sections of "From This Moment On". The person who really stands out as the weak link is Bobby Van, especially in the "Tom, Dick and Harry" number. 

 

I think you put your finger on it here -- this is a transitional period for Fosse.  I agree, he seems much more "a part of the group" in "Tom, Dick, and Harry," dancing someone else's choreography he was still a quick study and a clear technician.  And absolutely yes, Debbie Reynolds would not have been anywhere near the match for Fosse's emerging style that Carol Haney was in "From This Moment On."  When I taught dance history, I would show that number as an example of how jazz was changing in mid-century.
 



#50 Anthony_NYC

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 04:27 PM

I enjoy "Give a Girl a Break" too. Wally Heglin, who also did "Singing' in the Rain," among many other credits, orchestrated the dance numbers and they sound fabulous. (André Previn was the music director.)



#51 volcanohunter

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 09:22 PM

Give a Girl a Break will air on Turner Classic Movies on Sunday, August 23, at 7:30 am Eastern, as part of an all-day Debbie Reynolds program.

 

http://www.tcm.com/t...a-Girl-a-Break/




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