Fred Astaire presents us with a rare phenomenon: his dance career spanned half a century, yet because his primary medium was film, most of his work has been preserved. As a profoundly welcome result, his brilliance is there to be discovered and enjoyed by generation after generation. He has been compared to Bach by George Balanchine; Merce Cunningham calls him a genius; Rudolf Nureyev considers him the greatest American dancer in history. But what exactly is it that makes Astaire's dancing so extraordinarily beautiful and timeless? What is it in his choreographic style that is so distinctive, so inimitable? To help answer these questions, John Mueller has made extensive use of recently released material from archives and interviews -- including one with Astaire himself -- and has assembled from every one of Astaire's filmed dance numbers an essential sequence of frame enlargements (there are more than 2,300 in all) to accompany his thorough, lucid descriptions of what is being danced and how. In this way he anatomizes Astaire's entire filmed dance career -- movie by movie (there are thirty-one chapters, one for each of his musical films), number by number, almost step by step. And in an extended introduction, the author examines Astaire's career on stage and television as well as in film; his original and influential use of the movie camera; and his significant contribution to the integrated musical. He discusses Astaire's personality (so different from his on-screen persona), his working methods, the problems and successes he had with his various co-stars, and the nature of his association with the legendary songwriters of his day. When first published, this important book was honored by the Dance Perspectives Foundation as "the most distinguished book-length manuscript in the field of dance." The judges praised the book for revealing "in exacting detail the multi-faceted accomplishments of one of our great creative artists."
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The incomparable, magical Fred Astaire has tapped his way through some 212 musical numbers during his career. Following his vaudeville days, when he was teamed with sister Adele, he went to Hollywood to star in his first musical film, Dancing Lady, in 1933. Since then, he has partnered Cyd Charisse, Leslie Caron, Audrey Hepburn, Rita Hayworth and Ginger Rogers, in such film classics as Flying Down to Rio, Top Hat, Holiday Inn, Silk Stockings and Daddy Long Legs. Mueller, author of Dance Film Directory, extols Astaire's dedication to his art, describes the choreographers and directors he worked with, his roles and working methods, his relationships with various leading ladies and dance partners, his devoted marriage, which was ended by his wife's death from cancer at the age of 46 (he remarried at 80). The author covers every Astaire film, with discussion of the choreography of each of the dances, accompanied by stills from the movies. A fitting celebration of a national treasure. November
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Fred Astaire is considered to be one of the greatest American dancers. His major career was in films and so has been preserved. Mueller, professor of film studies, attempts to show Astaire's brilliance through a combination of stills and frame enlargements (more than 2400) from his musical films, 1933-68. He uses a system of keys that link the text decribing the dances and music to the corresponding pictures. He also presents the plot and production history of each film chronologically and provides an overview of Astaire's career, personal life, and ideas about filmmaking, especially the filming of dance numbers. This is a meticulously written and entertaining work; though it cannot rise above the inherent limitations of depicting dance through words and pictures, it will appeal to those interested in dance and cinema history and is recommended for general collections. Roy Liebman, California State Univ. Lib., Los Angeles
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Knopf, 1985. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0517060752
Book Description Knopf, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0517060752
Book Description Knopf 1985-01-01, 1985. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st. 0517060752. Bookseller Inventory # 480432
Book Description Knopf, 1985. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110517060752
Book Description Knopf. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0517060752 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0196321