Invitation to the Dance Movie Blogathon

Ferdy on Films, etc. Announces

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I could dance with you till the cows come home. On second thought, I’d rather dance with the cows and you come home. –Rufus T. Firefly, Duck Soup

No matter what you think of dance as a form of entertainment, it’s clear that this unique performance art has been a huge part of cinema pretty much right from the start. The Edison Company’s The Serpentine Dance (1894), for example, depicted an undergarment-revealing dance that actually got the film banned, 40 years before the infamous Hays Production Code for moral decency in movies was put in place.

Dance in motion pictures comes in a wide variety of forms: the kaleidoscopic production numbers of Busby Berkeley; the elegant ballets of real-life prima ballerina Moira Shearer in The Red Shoes; and the sophisticated pas des deux between Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Gower and Marge Champion, and Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse. Newer films, such as the very adult The Tango Lesson (1997), solid teen flicks like Save the Last Dance (2001) and Honey (2003), and Broadway-style films like Chicago (2002) and The Producers (2005), are keeping dance alive and well on the big screen. Even arthouse film lovers can find dance that inspires and provokes, such as the opening retelling in dance of the Creation in Bela Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies.

Whether dance is used as a pure study in form (Maya Deren’s A Study in Choreography for Cinema), an element that is integral to the plot (the tortuous ballroom dance sequence in Jezebel), or pure wow-’em entertainment (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers), its contributions to film deserve your consideration.

Ferdy on Films, etc. is proud to host the Invitation to the Dance Movie Blogathon, May 4 through May 10. The last day of the blogathon just happens to be the birthday of one of the greatest dancers ever to grace the silver screen—Fred Astaire. Contributions on that date that discuss Astaire are particularly welcome. Please RSVP in the comments section of this page or to ferdyonfilms@comcast.net. Below are ads you can use to publicize the event. Resize as needed. Hope to see you on the dance floor!

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  • Ferdy on Films, etc. spoke:
    15th/03/2008 to 12:42 pm

    Invitation to the Dance Movie Blogathon

    Ferdy on Films, etc. Announces I could dance with you till the cows come home. On second thought, I’d rather dance with the cows and you come home. –Rufus T. Firefly, Duck Soup No matter what you think of dance…

  • Pat spoke:
    16th/03/2008 to 4:53 pm

    I’d definitely be interested in participating! Any other rules, guidelines, etc. I should know?

  • Nayana Anthony spoke:
    17th/03/2008 to 9:52 am

    Count me in!

  • Marilyn spoke:
    17th/03/2008 to 10:38 am

    Kewl, guys! Just let me know when your post is up, and I’ll link to it here. No rules, just whatever moves (sorry!) you.

  • Anna Brady Nuse spoke:
    17th/03/2008 to 6:05 pm

    Great idea! I’m definitely game to blog for dance movies.

  • SciFiDrive spoke:
    17th/03/2008 to 8:26 pm

    I’ll be there!

  • Lady Wakasa spoke:
    17th/03/2008 to 11:57 pm

    Je suis ici, and je suis doing this! Already putting a list together.
    Just let us know the rules of the game, so I don’t pick something goofy that doesn’t quite fit…

  • Marilyn spoke:
    18th/03/2008 to 8:46 am

    Awesome, folks. ScifiDrive, I can’t WAIT to see what you come up with.
    No rules, really. Just something to do with dance and movies. It could be a scene with some dancing (even something like the piano dance in Big or a full-fledged musical. Analysis, your favorite dance number, anything. Variety is great! Just post during the blogathon and let me know the link, which I’ll post here.

  • SciFiDrive spoke:
    18th/03/2008 to 7:32 pm

    The Dance Blogathon ad is up on my site. Its early I know but I’m fine with it and a good early promo.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    18th/03/2008 to 9:28 pm

    Thanks so much SciFiDrive. But you’ll have to put a link to this post with it because silly me forgot to include the url on the ad.

  • J.D. spoke:
    19th/03/2008 to 2:16 pm

    Count me in as well. What a great idea!

  • Marilyn spoke:
    19th/03/2008 to 2:29 pm

    Great, J.D. Glad to have you on board!

  • Peter Nellhaus spoke:
    20th/03/2008 to 6:58 am

    I’ll be there. Not sure what I will do yet.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    20th/03/2008 to 8:40 am

    Fantastic, Peter!!!

  • WaywardJam spoke:
    25th/03/2008 to 10:37 am

    Sounds like fun. I’m in!

  • Marilyn spoke:
    25th/03/2008 to 11:20 am

    Great! Thanks, WaywardJam.

  • Kimberly spoke:
    26th/03/2008 to 4:29 pm

    I was happy to plug your upcoming blogathon Marilyn and I’m looking forward to participating! I already have a few films in mind that I want to write about but I just need to decide which one to cover.

  • Carl spoke:
    27th/03/2008 to 3:50 pm

    I’ll definitely blog this one. There are so many clips from traditional jazz dance that we have only because of hollywood.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    27th/03/2008 to 4:08 pm

    Carl, I’m thrilled to have you. I’m so looking forward to the contributions of dance bloggers (and all the great film bloggers, of course!).

  • Fox spoke:
    27th/03/2008 to 11:20 pm

    I’m in too! This is great idea for a blog-a-thon. Can’t wait!

  • Marilyn spoke:
    28th/03/2008 to 8:24 am

    Fantastic, Fox. Tractor Facts is one of the most original blogs I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to see what you’ll bring to the blogathon!

  • Megan spoke:
    30th/04/2008 to 3:31 am

    I haven’t done many blogathons yet (well, just one, really) but I might have to try and come up with something for this. What a great idea!

  • Marilyn spoke:
    30th/04/2008 to 8:12 am

    Megan – Wonderful! We’d love to have you.

  • Gautam spoke:
    2nd/05/2008 to 12:56 am

    Lets see what I can cook up for this wonderful idea. Should be quite fun!

  • Marilyn spoke:
    2nd/05/2008 to 8:25 am

    Gautam – That’s fantastic! I’m also glad to see you’ve been posting more regularly at your site. Good stuff!

  • Gautam spoke:
    3rd/05/2008 to 2:54 pm

    Thank you Marilyn, its very encouraging to hear that.

  • Jandy spoke:
    4th/05/2008 to 12:03 am

    Ooh, fun! I’m not a full-time film blogger (er, I mean, my blog isn’t a full-time film blog – it’s personal with a tendency toward film because I love it), but if that’s okay, I’d love to contribute something.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    4th/05/2008 to 8:06 am

    Jandy – You have a great site, and we’d love to have you!

  • Glenn Kenny spoke:
    4th/05/2008 to 10:09 am

    I’m in, if you’ll have me, as is said…

  • Marilyn spoke:
    4th/05/2008 to 10:19 am

    Glenn, Absolutely! The more the merrier. Just post the link on the newest post here when it’s ready and I’ll add you in.

  • Bob Turnbull spoke:
    4th/05/2008 to 1:44 pm

    Hi Marilyn,
    I had been working on a random set of thoughts after watching a bunch of musicals recently, so I’ve put them all into a post and would love it if you could add it to the blog-a-thon:
    http://eternalsunshineofthelogicalmind.blogspot.com/2008/05/bevy-of-musical-moments.html

  • D Cairns spoke:
    4th/05/2008 to 2:40 pm

    Sounds good. I already just did something Busby Berkeley related, so even though I’m pignorant about dance it should be possible to contribute something.
    http://dcairns.wordpress.com/2008/05/03/heads-you-lose/

  • Nichelle spoke:
    6th/05/2008 to 9:03 pm

    I love love love this blogathon! The reviews and clips are great. I am discovering dance on film that I’ve never seen before. I’ll be sharing your site with my readers. Thanks!

  • Editor A spoke:
    7th/05/2008 to 8:27 pm

    I can’t resist mentioning this old post of mine, because it’s a Seijun Suzuki action film called Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards! yet there are THREE song-and-dance numbers in the trailer alone! Highly enjoyable:
    http://cahiers2cinema.blogspot.com/2007/12/merry-xmas-from-seijun-suzuki-and-jo.html

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