Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Dance Party: Ginger Taps

Tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ginger Rogers, so of course, she stars in this week's Dance Party. She has appeared in these pages twice before, in both instances with her most famous dance partner, Fred Astaire. My favorite of all the clips of the two can be seen here, and just last year, I celebrated Rogers's birthday with another fun clip.

This week's entry comes from the final film made by the dancing duo, and it was fairly accidental. Astaire and Rogers had not made a film together for a full decade, leading to gossip that there were frosty feelings between them (they both denied those rumors). The Barcleys of Broadway was intended to pair Astaire with Judy Garland, as a follow-up to their success in Easter Parade (the script for Barcley's was being prepared even as filming was ongoing for Parade). Sadly, as so often happened in Garland's career, her substance abuse problems and her emotional troubles caused the plans for another big musical role to derail, so our Ginger was approached as a replacement.
Released in 1949, it was the only Astaire-Rogers movie to be filmed in color. Ginger received some snark about her figure, which had blossomed a bit in the decade since she had last hit the dance floor with Fred, but I surely don't see any problems here.

I'm a sucker for a tap number, and these two deliver the goods. Happy Birthday, Ginger!