Friday, October 10, 2008

The Old Hollywood Dancer

Cyd Charisse had it all. She dance with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, and performed with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. I grew up watching her on TCM and AMC in "Singing In The Rain," "The Harvey Girls," and "Brigadoon," all those great 1940s/1950s musicals.

In "Singing In The Rain," she was only in one number, but she stole the show, portraying a sultry, elusive woman. In that number she performs a modern ballet piece with wind blowing an extremely long, white piece of fabric as she wraps herself into Gene's arms. Stunning.

Charisse died in June of this year at the age of 86, but will be remembered as an old Hollywood musical great, a real triple-threat. The performers of the 21st century musical will never have her sophistication and elegance.

Ms. Charisse's obituary can be found in The New York Times.

Below is her performance in "Singing In The Rain."

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