Dance, Girl, Dance

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So today I talk about Dance, Girl, Dance for the :En Pointe: The Ballet Blogathon as today’s Dorothy Arzner’s classic Dance, Girl, Dance form 1940 which happens to be one of those very classic gems that many today can say tackles a very good issue later tackled by many other films as this issue is the serious dancer struggling for identity in a cheap, commercialized world as its truly a wonderful story crafted by two women beyond the camera that was rarity in the 1940’s. I hope you check out other posts form the: En Pointe: The Ballet Blogathon thank as now to the review of this classic movie.

Dance, Girl, Dance review

Judy O’Brien is an aspiring ballerina in a dance troupe. Also in the company is Bubbles, a brash mantrap who leaves the struggling troupe for a career in burlesque. When the company disbands, Bubbles gives Judy a thankless job as her stooge. The two eventually clash when both fall for the same man.(http://www.imdb.com)

Dance, Girl, Dance is a classic tale of a struggling dancer dreaming of hitting it big.  I cannot speak objectively with movies about dance. There is no greater sense of joy than the intersection of music, plus cinema, plus movement as dance is normally one thing that makes many movies golden.  When this movie begins with eight lithe, graceful women in top hats, all moving symbiotically in frame to a jaunty tune I knew this offered so much more than just dance. It’s the drama of the dream the feelings of them as they struggle to find their place. It’s ironic that a movie “dance” in its title wouldn’t be a traditional musical, but instead a comedic drama that captures the drama beyond the dance just as much the dance. . Arzner’s blocking is incredible throughout and becomes especially significant whenever she is shooting the dancing sequences as defined by the shifting of legs, arms and hips when song begins. The action is completely linked to how they get around the room.  The shadows fill out the picture, and the windows, chairs and mirrors give layering to how the dance takes up space. It’s truly marvelous to see as its all it needs to show the dance in such a dramatic light.  The wonderful acting of Lucille Ball and Maureen O’Hara and Louis Hayward make this movie a classic. The acting of Maureen O’Hara truly shines as she takes the lead as you see her struggle is the core of the story. This movie is one of her finest performances on the screen. Lucille Ball plays a brash person that truly is giving us one of her finest hours as she is unlike the screwball we later see her become on TV. Lucille Ball truly gives us one fine dramatic role that is another highlight of this movie. Ms. Arzner has achieved a unique and decidedly pro-woman tour-de-force within this little forgotten RKO classic that remains one of her finest movies she crafted.  While closer in spirit of imagery to STAGE DOOR than any other film that I can think of, it creates its own small symbolic world full of not-quite-real characters telling a fable-like structure. It’s one classic that is forgotten by so many today  that stands among many other great dramas of dance that you should see today.

The Ruth Rating:

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4 thoughts on “Dance, Girl, Dance

  1. christinawehner says:

    This sounds very unique and one I definitely need to see! What a great cast, too. I am looking forward to seeing it. It’s always so fun to see Lucille Ball in movies before her career in TV.

    Thanks so much for joining!

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