Home Best of Fred
Best Solo Dance Routine PDF Print E-mail

The Nominees are.....

  1. No Strings (Fancy Free), Top Hat

  2. One For My Baby (and One More For The Road), The Sky's the Limit

  3. Drum Crazy, Easter Parade

  4. Sunday Jumps, Royal Wedding

  5. You're All The World To Me, Royal Wedding

And The Winner is.....

One For My Baby (and One More For The Road), The Sky's the Limit

The master of dance expression finds his magnum opus in the ultimate song of love lost. Pronounced by Fred as "one of the best pieces of material that was written specially for me," the song has become a anthem. 

Fred is the broken-hearted pilot who is forced to break the heart of the woman he loves because he knows that he is leaving for the war front and cannot bear to leave her. By making her reject him, the end of the affair leaves her angry and hurt but better off than if he were to break her by dying in the war. But where does that leave him? Lonely and lost. And so he crawls from pub to bar to club, seeking consolation and a friendly ear. He doesn't want any answers; he just wants someone to listen. We revisit main points of their courtship in brief scenes.

In the number, the act of dancing and the act of destruction are combined to form a catharsis for the devastated Fred. The breaking of glass is set up at the very beginning when a goblet crumbles in his hand, leaving a bewildered Fred staring at it. When it occurs again later in the number, it triggers and angry surge of emotion in Fred. Without an ear to listen to him at this point, he lashes out at the cold, cruel world for forcing him to do what he had to do. He slams his hat on the floor; he drives his taps into the ground; he kicks and smashes glasses, bottles, and throws a bar stool. Recklessly ignoring the risk to his life and limb, he leaps onto the slick, slippery surface of the bar and slams his taps down its length, sliding and jumping. 

At the end, with his brief but extremely destructive surge of violence over, he slumps onto the bar stool. The angry bartender comes in and demands an explanation, but a calm and in control Fred pays for the damage- and then some, tipping the bartender generously. As he leaves, he uses his foot to flick the hat up, catch it and put it on, showing that he's still in complete control.

Besides being the most dangerous of his numbers, it is also the most expressive despite missing the usual Astaire touches of subtlety and understatement. He seeks to merely explode, to make as much noise as possible, and to simply hit the viewer as much as possible with raw emotion. It is simple in its directness and tremendously effective. It taps deep into the psyche of every person who has ever love and lost, and it is this direct connection that gives this number its great empathy. and to makes this Fred's greatest dance number.

Next Category: Best Partnered Dance Routine

Last Updated on Monday, 12 October 2009 10:16