” When you have danced with her, you can really say to have danced”
These the reserved words for from Fred Astaire to an icon of the gold years of the musical in Hollywood, Cyd Charisse. To the century Tula Ellice Finklea, is born in Texas to Amarillo, the 8 March of the 1921. for every year ’50 up to the crisis of the musical, have been more protagonist of some among the you hail films of the kind, definitely detaching the flight, with her role of fatal femme in Singing in the 1952 Rain, directed from Stanley Donen and from the same Gene Kelly. But we make back a footstep.
Tula was a rather sickly child and, after having been she cuts from poliomelite, she began to make dance to strengthen her muscles. From that it could appear as a banal necessity, it discovered her a great talent and, to alone 13 years, she entered to belong to the Russian ballet of Mountain Charles. Since she has been child, the Saturday afternoon went to the cinema with her family and looked admired the numbers of tap dance with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and surely she didn’t imagine that one day would also have been her partner of Fred Astaire. Beh, that day arrived. It was 1946 and Cyd, landed in California after the experience in the company of the Russian ballet and the brief marriage with her teacher of dance Nico Charisse, it got a marginal role – to the point not to even be mentioned in the credits -In Ziegfield Folies, by Vincente Minnelli, right next to Fred Astaire. In one of her interviews, carried out many years later, she describes the first meeting with Fred Astaire:
“When I saw Mr. Astaire arrive, with his superb vest, the waist belt, which he walked, as if only he could, I set aside intimidated, but he began to turn around me and kept observing me. In the end I understood that he was wondering if I was too big to dance with him, so I made a small pliè and I stayed so until he came out”.
After about half an hour, Arthur Fred phoned to tell her that she got the role, and so began the wonderful adventure with MGM. From this moment the success of Cyd Charisse is in continuous ascent and as mentioned at the beginning, it consolidates with its participation in Singing in the rain, in which she is called to do what best succeeds, or to dance. Although not the female protagonist in strictly speaking terms, her talent and her physicality do not go unnoticed. To become legend, are her legs, insured in 1952, for well 5 million dollars. In 1953, she played a starring role in the music film The Band Wagon, where she plays the ballet dancer Gabrielle Gerard, who is cast as Tony’s girlfriend (Fred Astaire), for the theatrical show destined to revive the career now in decline of the latter. Initially the relationships are not good, the personal diversities are configured as the mirroring of two styles of dance between them strangers, but it all resolves in a walk to the Central Park of New York, where one of the most memorable dance numbers of the couple takes place , the step to two Dancing in the dark.
The 1954 is instead the vault of Brigadoon, the name of a Scottish village that for a kind of miracle, appears once every hundred years, for a single day, then hide again in the fog with its inhabitants. Film with a romantic and exotic character, where the romance between Tony and Viola, precisely Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse, transcends the boundaries of the real, in the name of a feeling capable of overcoming any obstacle. Both works are signed Vincente Minnelli. Cyd Charisse lives a decade of gold, in which she works tirelessly and many others are the musicals she takes part in. With the crisis like this, she progressively moves away from the spotlight, concluding his career by collecting 56 films. On November 9, 2006, she received from the then President of the United States of America George W. Bush, the National Medal of the Arts and Humanities, considered the most important American award in the artistic field.
Cyd Charisse, who disappeared in 2008 to 87 years, is remembered as an example of professionalism and absolute talent in her discipline. The talent in dance, the precision and the cleanliness of movement accompanying his executions, have certainly compensated for the shortcomings in singing and acting. She was a perfect partner for her companions, adapting with grace and naturalness to the dance of each of them, even when the styles were completely different. This is the case of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, the first more sophisticated, graceful and slender, the second most muscular and energetic. Both absolute geniuses, but as Cyd Charisse stated, so different from making any kind of comparison between the two impossible. I want to greet you with two of the most representative videos: Dancing in the dark and Broadway Melody, from The Band Wagon and Singing in the rain, respectively. Good vision and the next success story!
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