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I wanted to know about Fred's career when he was successful, his work ethnic, and his understanding of dance. This book is about him and his sister especially their beginning careers. If that's what your looking for then it's a great book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
You may know the saying that Ginger Rodgers did everything Fred Astaire did but backwards and in high heels. Well she didn 't. Watch the films. She knocks spots off him as an actor and is an equal contributor to the films overall, but as a dancer she moves from one position to another in a learned sequence where he is as expressive and fluid as a great ballet dancer ( many of whom would agree about his greatness).
The woman who did probably do everything he did, and possibly more, backwards and in high heels was his sister Adele. Untill she left the stage to marry she was the greater star of the two. Unfortunately she was never filmed, and her quavery singing voice can sound strange to modern ears. But reviews leave no doubt about her talents as dancer and comic.
This book is an interesting history of the Astaire partnership. But I find the reader too foursquare and dull. Her idea of quoting either Astaire is always to be bright, brash and loud and in other ways I find her too lacking in variety.
Finally, if like me you are British her determination to mispronounce all British names if possible could be very wearing. BerNARD Shaw: Ok. He was Irish, that's the American pronounciation and would have been used to his face. Nor-WITCH: I daresay there is a Norwich somewhere in New England pronounced like that. Adelph-eye and SAH-voy Theatres: plausible so never mind. But when she reversed the usual American tendency to turn an "ah" sound into an "ay" sound (Aydolf Hitler turns up) and pronounced the name "Latham" as Lahtham I began to wonder if it was a deliberate wind-up. "Glasgow" emphatically rhymed with "cow" finished me off and I ordered the paper version instead.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful