Anonymous said: your post about the dance hold... sorry but that's actually a proper dance hold, nothing unusual or personal about that position of his hand :/ just normal ballroom dancing
I’m not really that knowledgeable about ballroom dancing or any dancing in general, but I do remember reading that in ballroom dancing back then, the guy was literally supposed to place two fingers on the girl’s waist and that was it. I mean, I guess it’s commonplace nowadays (because everyone now is just a lot less prissy about touching), but back then, especially with the Hays Code, it must’ve been something. And there’s also this part in “Pick Yourself Up” where he is this close to Ginger:
Like, okay, not knowledgeable about most dancing but they are so close to each other! (And if you or anyone else is wondering why she’s giving him that look, it’s not ‘cause he’s pulling her so close and she minds; it’s just that, in the context of the film, she didn’t know he could dance that well.)
And I guess another thing I was getting at was how Fred always breaks character in his dances with Ginger and only Ginger. Like, first off, their looks to each other:
This is where he starts breaking character, because look, Ginger’s being all cool about it, and he just can’t stop smiling ‘cause he’s with her:
Also, the way he helps her up from the backbend, like he thinks she’s the most wonderful creature in the world (and she is):
And can we just:
Fred just really can’t stop breaking character and he even has to bite his lip to stop himself from laughing:
And even Ginger starts to smile!
I’m sorry I just can’t help gushing about them at every chance!!!
Yes, many good points made here.
Of course it would be a pretty standard dance hold, they’re dancers. Some things are standard. It’s what they do with the standard that’s the point. That’s what made Fred so amazing; he took the standards and turned them completely upside down, and Ginger was capable of every single step alongside him.
See, the dances with Cyd Charisse and Barrie Chase and Eleanor Powell and Rita Hayworth are dances.
The dances with Ginger are love letters to her. Fred himself said it, that he made love by dancing. For the rest of the girls it was artistic and performance art, very clearly a dance. Fred stayed in character.
With Ginger, I think the opposite of what all the old critics say is true: they all extol the virtues of them staying so much in character, etc. But they don’t, and that’s the best part about the dfancing. The reason everybody believed them together was because of them breaking character during the dances. Yes, they maintained a certain emotional tone where necessary, but you can always see the Fred and Ginger underneath the Bake and Sherry or the Tony and Amanda. That’s why I love them and see so much love between them. You never saw Fred Astaire so honest in his life as he was on screen with Ginger, not ever again. And the freedom he felt with her you never see again. He never talks to any other of his girls when he’s dancing, but with Ginger there are things thrown in, faces and expressions, little things. During the Piccolino, he says, “You’re so sexy!” to her and she says “Thanks!” and Fred chose that take, since he had final approval. So he knew what he was doing. He put those things in there deliberately.
You have to pay attention to their body language. The sexuality between them is very apparent and very natural, which doesn’t exist with any of his other partners. He doesn’t ever look so goofy in love ever again; moreover it was with Ginger that he learned to do that silly in love expression in the first place. It’s because he’s fresh off nine years with Ginger that he can look at Rita Hayworth so authentically.
I wondered why about 1940 was when the studio decided to break the two of them up and not reunite them for Ginger’s most beautiful years. The age gap between them narrowed at least physically, so for most of the years when Ginger could plausibly have played his wife and been on a more equal footing with him they were apart. I think that this was at least partially deliberate for a lot of reasons which I can’t articulate fully.
By the time they got to Barkleys both of them had passed that prime age (round about 30-40) so the implication is that they’re now an old married couple and the sex is routine now, and not new. No one’s being wooed, no one’s virginity is at stake (too much of that shit for Ginger and women in general, oh man), the question has been popped and answered years ago.
But oh my god what I would have given to see Freddie with brunette Ginger. He would have LOST HIS MIND. I wish they’d have gotten together between ‘41-‘46 at Ginger’s sexual and physical peak, but there are probably reasons why they didn’t.
In any case, there is my two dollars’ worth of opinion.