Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Greatest Dancer You Probably Never Heard Of*

     Did I blog about this already? (I'm almost certain I did).   Some time back, I channel-surfed into a showing of Sweet Charity on one of the oldie TV channels, didn't recognize it, saw Richardo Montalban and stayed just to hear him talk, and in less than a minute, this dance number came up:
    The lead dancer is Suzanne Charney. There was a point in my life where I'd'a happily handed over my eyeteeth just to have the potential to dance as well as she does; but that's a combination of natural gift and hard, hard work that doesn't just happen. (Not a huge surprise to discover she sculpts, either; think about the amount of visualization it takes to dance photogenically.)

     (And boys, do try not to drool too much, mmmmkay?)

     ETA: Tam recommends the Wikipedia article on The Frug.
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* OTOH, if you are much into dance, especially modern, you have indeed heard of her.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you think she ironed her hair to get it that way?

My mom told me that girls in the '60s would lay their heads down on ironing boards and iron it.

Shootin' Buddy

og said...

I first saw this on my phone then went home so I could watchy it in HD. With those slow deliberate hip rolls, the all black costimes on the girls, and dancers smoking as thye danced, I figured this could only be one person, and sure enough, Choreography by Bob Fosse.

Roberta X said...

Yep. The movie doesn't get great ratings on the Internet (I dunno, I didn't see much) but his choreography, they rave about. It is odd and brilliant stuff indeed.

Suzanne McCarley said...

Wow. Even her hands and arms! The white gloves would highlight any careless movement. Amazing.

Davidwhitewolf said...

Holy crap! That's amazing!

Anonymous said...

Not just Charney's excellence, but the hours that had to go into rehearsal to get 20+ people so tightly - and error free - choreographed. Wow.

Roberta X said...

(BTW, Og, you are once again shown to be a man of parts indeed.)

NAVIGATOR said...

THE LADY HAILS FROM BRIGHTON BEACH !

Roberta X said...

...And they say it's not a small world! :)

og said...

My family were dancers. My mother and father were amazing, my aunt and uncle were ballroom dance champions on two continents. Back when I had knees and hips, I could cut a rug myself

I saw "Dancin'" back in.. 78 or 79. I was in NY with some friends who were travel nazis- they had scheduled literally every moment of the trip. We saw the production on an off night when it was cheap, and it had already been running a while, so I sat just about as close to the stage as you can get and not be asked to do a number.

Afterwards, we hurried away- before the last curtain call, unfortunately- and we went to something really ignorant, like a tour of broadway bars or something, but I wanted to stay and mingle with the crowd and bask in the wonder of the performance. When I ask my friend about it these days all she can say is "Oh, there were people SMOKING in the theater! I couldn't believe it! it was just horrible" You werent' allowed to smoke in the Broadhurst, even then, so I always wonder if we sat within a few seats of the only man who would never have taken "No" for an answer.

You, Ma'am, have wondrously long legs. With those Bettie Page Bangs, I imagine that Mr Fossee could have made you do some amazing things, despite little or no training or practice, I get the impression he managed to draw the most amazing performances out of the most unlikely people, because he liked the way they looked or moved.

Roberta X said...

::Blush::

Able said...

I particularly liked all the comments at youtube (Madonna, Goldmember, etc.)- you know you're old when you have to explain to people that their 'new' fashion is not only a copy, but a copy of a copy.

Reminiscing too. In my misspent youth (when dinosaurs ruled the earth) I was 'in to' Northern Soul. Attended The Twisted Wheel, Blackpool Mecca and even Wigan Casino. The music, you'll know, was based on Motown 'failures' but the dancing? Yep, I had classes (I need all the help I can get with two left feet) where the teacher would show ..... Bob Fosse choreography for illustration, ideas and motivation (although i think it was really to show how pathetic we were in comparison).

Ah well, even though I have to lie down after a waltz nowadays - care for a dance? (I don't disbelieve such a sage as Og but - long legs? Photos or 'it didn't happen!') ;-)

og said...

Able:Show up at a blogmeet, if you can. Legs go all the way to the ground. Also visible at Retrotechnologist on her "Modern" pennyfarthing.

Mike V. said...

Fosse's choreography is very distinctive. This is the 1st time I've Charney dance but I had a HUGE crush on Ann Reinking in the day.

Ken said...

Yep, that's Fosse all right. All That Jazz is still one of my favorite movies. "If you work...I can make you a better dancer."

Miz Charney is a superlative dancer. One of the fellas certainly was not, but nonetheless bore a slight resemblance to, Oliver Reed.

J.R.Shirley said...

Silly movements, but really well done. Amazingly fluid.