Dancing through the StarchGate–September, 1933

Chapter 9 Dancing through StarchGate

September 1933; Chicago, IL

Eleanor PowellTeam Hip Hop Lindy Hoppers sat in their seats alternately chatting, watching the landscape pass through the windows around them and finding their own ways to pass the time. Eleanor Powell and Alyce Braden sit side by side sharing a glossy movie star magazine. Outside a depressed looking farmstead complete with dilapidated barn and tilting two story farm house passed by. A couple of sickly looking cows, standing side by side, looked up, chewing their cud as they watched the train pass. The girls didn’t notice the cows, as they were too engrossed in a stunning picture of Boris Karloff.

Fred and Ginger were practicing their routine in the aisle as the Nicholas brothers flipped quarters between them to pass the time. Bill Bojangles Robinson napped while his seat mate, Busby Berkeley shined his own shoes. Fred looks over at Bill and sees him stir. Bill opens his eyes to look Fred Astairout the window.

“Bill,” says Fred, “you over there dreaming about the BBQ we’re going to have.”

“Oh, man,” Bill replies, excitedly, “I’ve been to this joint before. It’ll be the best barbecue chicken you ever had. . . “ And with that Bojangles was off to the races about the magnificent barbecue chicken dinner that awaited them after the dance competition. They were going to a little joint in Chicago that Bill swore by.

“Labor Day, man,” Bill said, “can’t get here fast enough.”

Ginger Rogers“Calm down now, Bill,” Fayard chuckles, “we have to win that competition, first.”

“You better start practicing, then” Harold tells Fayard, “I may be good, but I’m not going to be able to carry the both of us.”

Fayard pulled Harold’s hat down over his face.

“I could certainly use some practice,” Eleanor piped up.

“Me too,” Alyce chimed in.

“I guess it’s settled then,” said Fred, “Everyone up and we’ll give this thing Bill Bojanglesa go.”

Everyone begins to rise and stretch themselves as Sonny the porter comes along to check on the passengers.

“How is everything, folks?” Sonny asks.

“Well,” said Fred, “I don’t suppose there is a better place for us to rehearse than this aisle, is there?”

 

 

Nicholas Brothershttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor_Powell
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger_Rogers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Astair
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busby_Berkeley
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Bojangles_Robinson
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Brothers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fayard_Nicholas

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The Vampire Dancer Saga by Shalimar Ali, Shalimarali and N/A (Jul 25, 2012)

We’re Back just in time for the Holidays! Sneak peek at the Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2!

The Vampire Dancer Saga Front Cover JPGChapter 1 The Vampire Dancer Saga World Tour

January 3010; New York, NY

Happy New Years and welcome to 3010 Vampire Olympics, here are your hosts the 5 Dick Clarkes, boomed the Mistress of Ceremonies, Salome!

The 5 Dick Clarkes took the stage. The crowd wooed and awed at the 5 different Dick Clarkes from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1900s. Wow, they look so real! remarked one audience member.

Dick Clarke1 replied, that is because we are real! We are the real Dick Clarkes from each decade courtesy of our sponsor: StarchGate Travel. Dick Clarke2 continued, when you need to travel through time and space or bring back a loved one or their soul from the past, future, heaven or hell – look to StarchGate Travel! We bring back anyone, anything from anywhere, anytime, anyplace!

Let me introduce our Mistress of Ceremonies, Salome! Please slither over to the stage Salome!BackCover

Slither – really, Asked Salome? Let me introduce our esteemed judges from two of your favorite Vampire Shows, So you Think You Can Vamp and Dancing with Some Dead Stars. Let’s give it up for:

KarAnna, Blen & Runo from DWSDS and Ligel Nitchgow & Murph Mare from SYTYCV with special guest judge Triple T Debs! The audience goes wild with applause!

Dick Clarke3 continued; Now let’s take a look at our competitors in the 3010 Vampire Olympics! We have 13 teams competing this year. The teams include a mixture of regular folks, dead folks, celebrities and guests from an alternate universe.

Salome continued, The theme of this year’s competition is DANCE OR DIE!

Yes, you heard me right. All safety controls are off on this special completion. You win the Dance Contest or you DIE! It’s as simple as that. Teams, are you ready for your challenge?

Supernatural Dancing Skills

  1. Time Travel (using a Glamour dance to dance to your “secret” time destination), once there
  2. Compulsion (Turn one team member into a vampire, ghost or monster of your choice)
  3. Find the Enemy (Could be anyone from a former friend to even a team member turned bad)
  4. Best Power (Witchcraft, Spell, Potion, Premonition or Voodoo Skills)

Salome1Salome added, The Teams are competing for some great prizes this year, including:

  1. 1st Place Every member of your Dance Team lives to see another day!
  2. 2nd Place 7 First Class tickets from StarchGate Travel. Each team member has a round trip ticket to visit anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Or they can use their ticket to bring back a Soul from the dead, past, present, future, alternate universe, Heaven or Hell.
  3. 3rd Place 7 Fully Deluxe Coffins for fun, business or pleasure. The coffins include a hide-away below with ample from to store victims, blood or bats. Of course an office, toilet, shower, blood draining stations, kitchen and living room with TV, guest bedroom.

 

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The Vampire Dancer Saga

The Vampire Dancer Saga, first movie SCRIPT Sneak Peak is here! Can Julianne Hough or Cheryl Burke (Dancing with the Stars) dance as good as Eleanor Powell?

The Vampire Dancer Saga FrontI’m so proud of the script for Chapter 4, Dancing with Flair at the Fair. The scriptwriter did an awesome job of capturing the right words for this movie scene.

Again with more Movie or TV Casting choices, who do you think is POWERFUL enough to dance like my favorite dancer of all time, Eleanor Powell???

Hmmm, would it be someone young and athletic like Julianne Hough? Or someone sultry and sensuous like Cheryl Burke?

Well, actually, if this movie ever comes to pass, I would go a totally different direction and pick the protégé of one of my other all-time favorite dancers. And you know who I am talking about: DEBBIE ALLEN!Julianne Hough2

I first noticed Debbie’s daughter, VIVIAN NIXON in the 1994 Academy Awards Oscar Best Song Presentation for the Circle of Life, The Lion King. Vivian is the real daughter of of the “spoofed” dancer Triple T Debs in Chapter 1:

“Places everyone. Quiet please,” shouted host Bom Tergeron. With that, the judges, KarAnna, Blen & Runo from DWSDS and Ligel Nitchgow & Murph Mare from SYTYCV with special guest judge Triple T Debs took their places at the Judges Table.

JULIANNE HOUGH as Elly Powers: Too busy, has too much work, will probably turn it down. Shame, she could do the acrobatics and tap dancing like Eleanor Powell and make it believable.

Cheryl Burke2CHERYL BURKE as Elly Powers: Prolly under contract with ABC for Dancing with the Stars. Has not done movies yet, not sure if she would be interested if this really happens. Cheryl is the most POWERFUL female dancer on Dancing with the Stars, and would totally believable in the role

VIVIAN NIXON as Elly Powers: Vivian is extremely talented and it would be a coup to have Debbie direct Vivian to play Elly Powers in this movie. Vivian would blow the tap dance scenes away!

Uncle Sunny, is actually my real uncle. But he does not dance. Even so, it would be great to have a Tap Dancer to master Bill “Bojangles” Robinson for this role. Especially since Eleanor Powell portrayed Bill Robinson in the movie Honolulu. The best actor to play my uncle, who can tap like Bill Eleanor PowellRobinson is MAURICE HINES.

And to play the kooky fortune teller MADAME ZANDRA, I would cast none other than the delightful Kathy Najimy!  She is one of my favorite actresses of all time.  I love all of her movie and TV works.

YouTube Clip of Vivian Nixon

SCRIPT COPYRIGHT 2012 SHALIMAR ALIBill Bojangles

Setting: On a train in the 1930’s. Two women are standing in the aisle in the dining car practicing dance steps. When it becomes apparent that the younger of the two has mastered it they sit at a table in a mostly deserted dining car late at night. They are eating pie and drinking coffee.

ELLY

So your parents are Big Daddy Baker and . . .

ALYCE

Caroline Braden.

ELLY

Maurice HinesAnd you spend your free time riding the train with your uncle.

ALYCE

Just until he finishes seminary school. Then he won’t be a porter anymore.

ELLY

Riding the train sounds like a pretty adventurous existence.

ALYCE

It is. We’re going to make a stop in Chicago to see the World’s Fair.

ELLYVivian Nixon

I thought about doing that myself.

ALYCE

Oh, won’t that make you late to begin filming?

ELLY

I’ve got time. I really want to see Little Egypt.

ALYCE

VivianNixon5Me too. I hear she’s completely scandalous.

ELLY

I certainly hope so!

The two women laugh.

ELLY cont.

We should go together.VivianNixon3

ALYCE

Really?

ELLY

Yeah.

The scene fades into a montage of the two women getting off the train in Chicago in the daylight. We see them talking and laughing as they walk down the sidewalk, riding the street car and arriving at the World’s Fair. ALYCE looks all around, taking in everything. They stop to watch a fortune teller at work.

Kathy NajimyMADAME ZANDRA

You’re curious. That’s natural. Why don’t you sit down?

ELLY stops ALYCE from sitting.

ELLY

Hold on there, lady. . . . How much?

MADAME ZANDRA

Only a dollar.

ALYCEVivianNixon4

A whole dollar?!

ELLY

Didn’t anybody tell you there’s a depression going on?

MADAME ZANDRA

I’m worth every penny and more. Take it or leave it.

ALYCE looks to ELLY who shrugs.

ELLY

It’s up to you kid. It’s your dime.

VivianNixon1ALYCE considers it for a moment, then sits and hands MADAME ZANDRA a dollar from her change purse.

ALYCE

This better be good.

MADAME ZANDRA

Taking ALYCE’s palms.

You have a very special gift, a very special power . . . to be activated on your 21st birthday. I also see a great-granddaughter, 60 years from now, will also be dancing in Chicago. She will dance like the Egyptians.

ALYCE and ELLY glance at each other. ELLY rolls her eyes and ALYCE smiles.

ALYCE

Rising.

Thank you Madame Zandra, that was very . . . entertaining.

As they walk away.

Cheryl BurkeELLY

Did you buy any of that?

ALYCE

Apparently I did. And I paid a whole dollar for it.

ELLY

Come on, kid. Let’s go see the “Egyptians.” When is your 21st birthday, anyway?

ALYCE

Tomorrow.

Julianne HoughELLY imitates spooky music and they laugh as they walk off arm in arm.

ALYCE and ELLY enter the area where Little Egypt will be dancing. The place is already packed. They find seats and the show begins. During the course of the show audience members may “Oooo” and “Ahhh”. They express their shock and surprise. ALYCE and ELLY are both captivated, but for ALYCE it seems for a moment that the lights are flickering and then dimming. When they come up she is still watching the “Egyptian” dance but it is someone else entirely on the stage, someone who looks a bit like her. She hears a soft buzzing sound next to her and sees a man look into a small hand-held device. When ALYCE returns to herself, everyone is leaving and ELLY is looking at her with concern.

Eleanor Powell2ELLY

Are you okay? You look really pale.

ALYCE runs her tongue over her teeth and then opens her lips to reveal fangs.

ELLY grins.

Vampire?

ALYCE

Yes. Meet me in St. Louis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivian_Nixon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debbie_Allen
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julianne_Hough
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheryl_Burke
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Najimy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Hines
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_%22Bojangles%22_Robinson
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor_Powell
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honolulu_%281939_film%29
https://learnbellydancewithshalimarali.com/2012/06/22/the-vampire-dancer-saga-part-1-dancing-makes-you-buff-62212/

https://learnbellydancewithshalimarali.com/2012/06/16/the-vampire-dancer-saga-part-4-dancing-with-flair-at-the-fair-61512/

 

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The Vampire Dancer Saga back coverAs you all know, ELEANOR POWELL is the absolute best dancer that ever lived! There is not a dancer today that can match her power, stamina and the girl power of topping the box office for dance. It would be IMPOSSIBLE to match any dancer today with Eleanor Powell. The dancers on Dancing with the Stars have it so easy because they do PARTNER DANCES. By comparison, Eleanor Powell commanded the box office with SOLO DANCING. I am a dancer and if you are a dancer you know that it is harder to SOLO than dance PARTNER. Why? A solo dancer must COMMAND that stage with stage presence and stage work. A partner can dance can actually divide the dance duties in half with team work. A lot of dancers will disagree with that statement, but then again ask yourself why, there are not that many solo dances on Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You can Dance???

Now is your time to join the Conversation! Comments, questions, concerns, controversy, rebuttals, tributes, blog suggestions, guest bloggers, etc., are all welcome!

Who would you cast as Elly Powers?
Is Julianne Hough or Cheryl Burke strong enough dancers to dance as good as Eleanor Powell?
Do you agree that Vivian Nixon is the strongest dancer to take on the role of Elly Powers in this movie script?

Dance Tribute 4/27/12: Tap Dance! Who is your favorite Tap Dancer or favorite Tap Dance Routine?

 

Tap Eleanor1Dance Tribute 4/27/12: Tap Dance!

Okay, so I took tap dance lessons as a kid back in the 1960s.  Yep, I’m old.  And to this day, I can still remember that song played on the piano at Smith Sisters Dance Studio.  It was so cool having tap dance lessons with a real piano player.  I usually teach to cassettes and CDs, so most dance students don’t get a chance to study with real, live music.

Tap dance was one of my favorite dance classes.  It’s much harder than it looks.  I remember taking Flamenco dance workshops and that challenging footwork reminded me of my tap lessons.

Tap Busby1I’m a big sucker and huge fan of the old movie musicals, especially those from the 1930s.  In particular, I love seeing tap dances by Eleanor Powell, The Nicholas Brothers and Bill Bonjangles!

I had a copy of That’s Entertainment on VHS and I would watch it all the time with my granddaughters.  We have so much fun watching our favorite dance scenes and then getting up to dance along with them.  I just got That’s Entertainment parts 1, 2 & 3 on DVD (Blue-Ray, no less) and so glad that now I can just skip to my favorite scenes instead having to fast forward and rewind a VHS tape.

The movie musicals from the 1930s are my favorite.  That was the Golden Age for musicals, that has not ever been topped since.

Tap Bill1Everyone has their favorite TAP DANCERS or favorite TAP DANCE SCENES from movies or TV clips, such as Gregory Hines, Fred Astaire, Ann Miller, the list goes on and on.

Here are my FAVORITE TAP DANCERS & TAP SCENES:

1.  THE QUEEN OF TAP – Eleanor Powell.  Wow can this lady dance!  She is the best tap dance soloist in the world in the history of time.  I love all of the turns, flips, kicks, stops and also creativity in mixing tap with Hula or Matador style.  Did she introduce or INVENT PASO DOBLE?

Tap Nicholas12.  THE BEST TAP DUET EVER – The Nicholas Brothers, Fayard & Harold.  Did you know that Debbie Allen, Janet Jackson & Michael Jackson studied with them?  Makes sense.  As I said before you can’t go wrong in dance if you just do what Debbie Allen does.  And Michael Jackson, what a dance perfectionist!  He could have had a career in Tap – one of the best modern day tappers.

3.  THE BEST TAP DANCE SCENE IN A MOVIE – The Gold Diggers of Hollywood, Lullaby to Broadway.  I remember the old clips of this movie and my favorite scene is Tap Busby2when they shoe the UNDERNEATH view of the 3 dudes tapping so hard, I thought they could tap their feet to death, LOL!

4.  THE CUTEST KIDS TAP DANCING – Of course Shirley Temple, tap dancing in many of her movies.  I love seeing her dance with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.  Honorable mention to Janet Jackson tap dancing on the Jacksons Show.

5.  THE BEST MUSICAL FILM DIRECTOR OF ALL TIME – Busby Berkeley.  The man with a vision.  The man that gave you Tap Eleanor2dance and singing from a DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW.  He changed movie and musical history by inventing and  reinventing musicals.

I had  a day off work today and spent many hours viewing some of my past favorite tap dancers.  It was so much fun watching so I would like to share my favorite tap dancers and tap dance scenes with you:

 

 

 

Tap Busby3

Tap Nigel1

 

 

One of my favorite dances by Eleanor Powell, the Queen of Tap!

WOW!  I love it whenever I watch this clip.  One of the best all-time dance scenes ever!  Thrilling!  I can’t believe the jump/splits on the stairs.  And how close they were to the musicians, I thought one dude was gonna be kicked in the head LOL.

 

 

 

 

I LOVE this dance!  So creative to mix Hula & Tap.  Love the turns and quick stops in the turns.  Fabulous!

It’s good to see a Show Judge “PRACTIC WHAT THEY PREACH” by showing that they really can dance!  Nigel, you think you can dance, YOU CAN DANCE!  I hope they show  more of Nigel dancing and choreographing dances in future episodes of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE!

Again, a great mix of dance styles, this time tap & Paso Doble.  By the way, you don’t see this style very often in old movie musicals.  Did Eleanor Powell introduce Paso Doble for future Ballroom Dance?

Love watching Mr. Tap, Bill Bojangles Robinson.  I watch this with  my granddaughters and they get up and imitate Shirley Temple.  They are as cute as she is.

Check the 3 dudes tapping real hard at 1:50.  Damn!  They are tapping their asses off!  I love how they show the 3 viewpoints, the front view, overhead and UNDERNEATH so you can see the shoes tapping.  The shoes tapping is one of my favorite, favorite dance scenes.

 

This is PRICELESS!  My favorite singing group the Jackson 5 with Janet, LaToya & Rebbie TAP DANCING with The NICHOLAS BROTHERS!!!  Michael is really holding his own and is a damn good tapper.  And Janet is just so cute!!!

 

 

 

I love the Jackson 5 show because it had contemporary favorites like their hit songs.  But the best thing about the show was that it allowed the Jackson Family to branch out and show a WIDE VARIETY of music and dance styles.  The talented Jackson Family was not LIMITED to doing the songs from their time, I loved when they did OLD HOLLYWOOD STYLE and did it GREAT!  The scene at 6:16 is sort of like a PREMONITION of SMOOTH CRIMINAL, LOL.

Bill Bonjangles is tearing those steps up!  Wow!  He is the King of Rhythm!  And little Shirley Temple is CUTE AS A BUTTON!

 

Gregory Hines does the SHIM SHAM dance in one of my favorite movies, The History of the World: Part I

 

Sammy Davis Jr. still going strong in 1990 with Gregory Hines!

 

Sammy Davis Jr – BURNING THOSE TAP SHOES UP!!!

Tap Bill2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busby_Berkeley
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_%22Bojangles%22_Robinson
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nicholas_Brothers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor_Powell
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Lythgoe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Hines
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sammy_Davis,_Jr.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000923/
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Now is your time to Join the Conversation! Comments, questions, concerns, controversy, rebuttals, tributes, blog suggestions, guest bloggers, etc., are all welcome!

Tap Busby4

 

Who is your favorite Tap Dancer or favorite Tap Dance Routine?

Dancer Tribute 1/11/12: Katherine Dunham (Glen Ellyn, IL)

Katherine1Dancer Tribute 1/11/12: Katherine Dunham (Glen Ellyn, IL)

An amazing dance pioneer!

Outstanding dancer, choreographer and innovator!

One of the all time dance great!

Katherine Dunham.

In 1945, she opened and directed the Katherine Dunham School of Dance and Theatre near Times Square in New York City after her Dance Company was provided with rent-free studio space for 3 years by an admirer, Lee Shubert; it had an initial enrollment of 350 students.

Her alumni included many future celebrities, such as Eartha Kitt, who, as a teenager, won a scholarship to her school and later became one of her dancers before moving on to a successful singing career. Others who attended her school included James Dean, Gregory Peck, Jose Ferrer, Jennifer Jones, Shelley Winters, Sidney Poitier, Shirley MacLaine, Doris Duke and Warren Beatty. Marlon Brando frequently dropped in to play the bongo drums, and jazz musician Charles Mingus held regular jam sessions with the drummers. Known for her many innovations, she developed a dance pedagogy named the Dunham Technique which won international acclaim and is now taught as a modern dance style in dance schools, including at the Harkness Dance Center of the 92nd Street Y.

One of my all time favorite movies is Stormy Weathers.  I love and admire many of the performers in it like Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Lena Horne, Cab Calloway and Fats Waller (both appearing as themselves), the Nicholas Brothers dancing duo, comedy team Miller and Lyles, singer Ada Brown, and Katherine Dunham with her dance troupe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Dunham
For more dance gossip & goodies, check out my book, "Learn to Belly Dance Textbook" available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble:
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Katherine2

Katherine3

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/freetodance/biographies/dunham.html