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Author:  RonPrice [ Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:04 pm ]
Post subject:  GINGER ROGERS AND FRED ASTAIRE: Impulsive Rapture

Part 1:

Ginger Rogers reached her apogee in the film Swing Time.1 By now she had a dancer’s body as beautiful as any the screen has ever seen. The glimpses of her legs, with her calf-length skirts flying as they tap in “Pick Yourself Up,” are enough to make you gasp. Her spine can now arch and bend in many ways, all apparently full of feeling; the slenderness of her waist is always ravishing. The history of dance on film begins, some say, with Ginger Rogers and, of course, her partner, Fred Astaire.

Swing Time
is considered by many aficionados of dance on film to be Astaire and Rogers' best dance musical featuring, as it did, four dance routines that are each regarded as masterpieces of their kind. "Never Gonna Dance" is often singled out as this partnership's most profound achievement in filmed dance; "The Way You Look Tonight” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and went on to become Astaire's most successful hit record. In 1936 it was first in the U.S. charts. Their partnership, it is said, never again quite regained the creative heights scaled in this and previous films. The film, Swing Time, was released at the end of August 1936 and was popular throughout 1937.

Part 2:

Astaire and Rogers made ten films together including: The Gay Divorcee (1934), Roberta(1935), Top Hat(1935), Follow the Fleet(1936), Swing Time(1936), Shall We Dance (1937), and Carefree(1938). Six out of the nine Astaire-Rogers musicals became the biggest money-makers for the movie studio, RKO records. All of their films brought a certain prestige and artistry that all studios coveted at the time. Their partnership elevated them both to stardom. As Katharine Hepburn reportedly said, "He gives her class and she gives him sex."--Ron Price with thanks to 1Wikipedia.

Her ordinariness and spontaneity
made her attractive as she and he
became divinities, epitomizing as
they did: glamour and love, dance
and impulsive rapture…depth and
complexity---and just as humanity
was entering the outer fringes of the
most perilous stage of its existence2
and as an immense field beckoned
a few to gigantic tasks and sacred
obligations in a most holy enterprize.3

2 By 1936/7 the world was indeed gearing-up for another war “to end all wars,” WW2.
3 Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America: 1932-1946, Wilmette, 1947, p.8.

Ron Price
17 December 2010

(1) In 1999 Swing Time was one of Entertainment Weekly’s top 100 films. In 2004 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". In the new America Film Industry's 100 Years…..100 Movies, 10th Anniversary Edition, it has been added at #90.

Author:  ladlasheikh [ Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: GINGER ROGERS AND FRED ASTAIRE: Impulsive Rapture

that great to know that...


Author:  RonPrice [ Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: GINGER ROGERS AND FRED ASTAIRE: Impulsive Rapture

Thanks, ladlasheikh, for your response. I don't dance now that I'm in my 70s, and here is a prose-poem about that fact.-Ron

Being young grows harder every year.
My muscle tone not being what it was,
I’ll have to give up pole vaulting, I fear,
and play canasta when I crave a buzz.
-Roger White, “Silver Threads Among the Grecian Formula”, Occasions of Grace, George Ronald, Oxford, 1992, p.122.

‘Twas very heaven to be young back in ’67
when I did kiss her sweet breasts
and she was buxom and firm,
more delicious than anything I had ever known.
I had absolutely no idea what They meant
when They talked about entering
the dark heart of the age of transition.1
She was purer than the driven snow
and whiter than sunlight on gold
and I had only just begun to serve
in this new Order which had just stuck
its head above the ground quite literally
in 1963 with that charismatic Force
now fully institutionalized, as Weber2
would have put it in those years before he died.

An entire structure of authority, meanings and metaphors
for the traditional stakeholders of power world-wide
was becoming completely unstuck, then, and now—
she’s gone into that other heaven where I trust we shall
one day meet and consummate far beyond the flesh and
I will taste her soul which I could not meet, then, there
in those rooms and cars, overwhelmed was I by the wine
of life flowing through my veins like some tempest of
unprecedented violence, of catastrophic effects and
sweeping the face of the earth with unpredictable fury
harrowing up our souls in such subtle and elusive ways.

Her soul, another elusive and unknown mystery, I like to
think will one day join mine in a fragrance deep, in a
romance, profound, unearthly and majestic dance.
And this tempest will blow a bewildered and agonized
humanity unobtrusively toward a new and holy seat of
world shaking and world reverberating power whose
fragrance has just begun to permeate our days.

Ron Price
30/3/'97 to 21/3/'15.

1 Universal House of Justice, 1967, Ridvan message.
2 Max Weber, arguably the greatest classical sociologist, worked out his sociology of religion in which charisma and its institutionalization was one of its centre-pieces in the early years of this century, before he died in 1920.

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