L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Astaire and Rogers in Never Gonna Dance, from Swing Time, 1936

Song by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields; Choreography by Astaire and Hermes Pan; Set design by John Harkrider; Rogers' gown by Bernard Newman.

It's hard to believe that I've never done a post on this particular topic, the scene and dance generally regarded as the pinnacle of the Astaire and Rogers pairing. (And the set, with its twinkling, starry "sky", and Ginger's gown - which moves so beautifully that it actually becomes a key choreographic element - greatly support its ascent.) If you've never seen it, see it. If you have seen it - even seen it innumerable times, as I have - you know that there's no adequate way to describe or sufficiently applaud it. Only to acknowledge that, through an alchemy of pictorial design, music, and movement, a long length of celluloid film was produced - unspooling, a bit more than eight minutes in recorded time - that will forever continue to transfigure our dreaming.


  1. The cinematography, the score, the actors' performances, the dancing, are all put together to make the very apex of film musicals. LOVE.

  2. Absolutely the pinnacle, as you say, of perfection and the New Yorker dance critic Arlene Croce in her book on Fred and Ginger referred to it as the Dance of Dances, analysing every movement. Sublime! The sort of thing which makes one glad to be alive, and even, dare I say it, proud to be American.