Pe 10 mai 1899 se naște Fred Astaire (numele de botez: Frederick Austerlitz). (dansator, coregraf, actor, cântăreț). Primul film în care dansează este Dancing Lady în 1933.
G. Bruce Boyer in “Shall We Dress?” Forbes, May 3rd, 1999:
I think I can pinpoint the one moment when the American style of dressing first appeared. It was in an appalling 1933 movie called Dancing Lady during an otherwise forgettable dance number. It also just happened to be Fred Astaire’s first on-camera dance. But don’t look at the steps. Look at the outfit: Astaire is wearing a single-breasted, soft flannel suit with two-tone spectator shoes and a turtleneck. You wish you could look that stylish! Later that year, in Flying Down to Rio, we get the full Astaire impact. The muted plaid suit is not all that striking, but Fred is wearing it with a soft button-down shirt, a pale woven tie, silk pocket square, bright horizontally striped hose and white bucks. Whoa! Now that’s different. This melange of the classic and the sporty was an American innovation. As we approach the impeccable Astaire’s 100th birthday on May 10, it’s worth remembering that he remains the greatest exemplar of that style.
Artie Shaw on his collaboration with Astaire in Second Chorus (1940) as interviewed in Fantle, Dave and Johnson, Tom. Reel to Real. Badger Books LLC, 2004, p.304. ISBN 1932542043:
Astaire really sweat – he toiled. He was a humorless Teutonic man, the opposite of his debonair image in top hat and tails. I liked him because he was an entertainer and an artist. There’s a distinction between them. An artist is concerned only with what is acceptable to himself, where an entertainer strives to please the public. Astaire did both. Louis Armstrong was another one.
Dance critic Anna Kisselgoff, in Shepard, Richard F. “Fred Astaire, The Ultimate Dancer, Dies,” The New York Times, 23 June 1987:
At its most basic, Mr. Astaire’s technique has three elements – tap, ballet and ballroom dancing. The ballet training, by his account, was brief but came at a crucial, early age. He has sometimes been classed as a tap dancer, but he was never the hoofer he has jokingly called himself. Much of the choreographic outline of his dancing with his ladies—be it Miss Rogers or Miss Hayworth—is ballroom. But of course, no ballroom dancer could dance like this.
I don’t make love by kissing, I make love by dancing.
He is terribly rare. He is like Bach, who in his time had a great concentration of ability, essence, knowledge, a spread of music. Astaire has that same concentration of genius; there is so much of the dance in him that it has been distilled. – George Balanchine (in Nabokov, Ivan and Carmichael, Elizabeth. “Balanchine, An Interview”. Horizon, January 1961, pp. 44-56. (M))
I just put my feet in the air and move them around.
Un interviu la radio cu Fred din 1968 aici.
Fred Astaire, interviewed by Dan Navarro for American Classic Screen Magazine, September/October 1978:
Oh, there’s no such thing as my favorite performance. I can’t sit here today and look back, and say, Top Hat was better than Easter Parade or any of the others. I just don’t look back, period. When I finish with a project, I say ‘all right, that’s that. What’s next?
Mikhail Baryshnikov in “Interview with Mike Wallace”, 60 Minutes, CBS Television. February 18, 1979 (M):
He’s a genius…a classical dancer like I never saw in my life.
Ginger Rogers in Evans, Harry. “Ginger, Leila, and Fred.” Family Circle, May 8, 1936. (M)
Just try and keep up with those feet of his sometime! Try and look graceful while thinking where your right hand should be, and how your head should be held, and which foot you end the next eight bars on, and whether you’re near enough to the steps to leap up six of them backward without looking. Not to mention those Astaire rhythms. Did you ever count the different tempos he can think up in three minutes?
Ginger Rogers :
How do you think those routines were accomplished? With mirrors?… Well, I thought I knew what concentrated work was before I met Fred, but he’s the limit. Never satisfied until every detail is right, and he will not compromise. No sir! What’s more, if he thinks of something better after you’ve finished a routine, you do it over.
Fred: Old is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young
Sammy Davis Junior: Just to see him walk down the street … to me is worth the price of admission.
Bosley Crowther in The New York Times (1950) :
“Give Mr. Astaire a hunk of rhythm, a straw boater and a girl, and he’s your man.”