Typed Letter Signed
Pristine Typed Note Signed on Ava Productions Inc. stationery, 5″ x 5″. Grateful sentiment to the American writer John Grissim.
FRED ASTAIRE (1899-1987) was an American Academy Award-winning film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor. His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of seventy-six years, during which he made thirty-one musical films. He is particularly associated with Ginger Rogers, with whom he made ten films.
Fred Astaire is generally acknowledged to have been one of the most influential dancers in the history of film and television musicals. He was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute.
Astaire was a virtuoso dancer, able to convey light-hearted abandon or deep emotion when called for. His technical control and sense of rhythm were astonishing. Long after the photography for the solo dance number “I Want To Be A Dancin’ Man” was completed for the 1952 feature The Belle Of New York, it was decided that Astaire’s humble costume and the threadbare stage set were inadequate and the entire sequence was re-shot. The 1994 documentary That’s Entertainment! III shows the two performances side-by-side in split screen. Frame for frame, the two performances are absolutely identical, down to the subtlest gesture.
Astaire’s execution of a dance routine was prized for its elegance, grace, originality and precision. He drew from a variety of influences, including tap and other black rhythms, classical dance and the elevated style of Vernon and Irene Castle, to create a uniquely recognizable dance style which greatly influenced the American Smooth style of ballroom dance, and set standards against which subsequent film dance musicals would be judged. He termed his eclectic approach his “outlaw style”, an unpredictable and instinctive blending of personal artistry.
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