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Afternoon Delight's American Musical Series #1: Bob Fosse


by Jerome Weeks 14 Mar 2011

We’re having a special Afternoon Delight series this week — devoted entirely to great music-and-dance scenes from American films you’ve probably never seen. And who better to start off with than Bob “All That Jazz” Fosse himself — making his film choreography debut in 1955 with a jazzy little duet in an alley?

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Afternoon Delight is a daily diversion for when you’re just back from lunch, but not quite ready to get back to work. Check back tomorrow at 1 p.m. for another one.

Because Stephen Becker is in Austin covering SXSW this week (hi, Stephen!), we’ll be having a special Afternoon Delight series — devoted entirely to great music-and-dance scenes from American films you may never have seen. The movies themselves may have been duds, but these individual numbers are little wonders, exemplars of the best of American music, choreography, dancers and filmmaking.

And who better to start off with than Bob Fosse himself, making his film choreography debut? This is the terrific jazz duet, “The Alley Dance,” from the musical My Sister Eileen (1955). That’s Fosse, of course, on the left in the dark suit and with him is the very fine dancer, Tommy Rall. Note how Fosse is a little looser, slouches more, gets more attitude in his moves, while Rall is crisper and definitely jumps higher. Also, remarkably, this entire wonderful number is done with only seven cuts.

You can order a DVD of My Sister Eileen — starring Janet Leigh and Jack Lemmon — here.

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