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Best Partnered Dance Routine PDF Print E-mail

The Nominees are.....

  1. I'll Be Hard To Handle, Ginger Rogers, Roberta

  2. Never Gonna Dance, Ginger Rogers, Swing Time

  3. Begin The Beguine, Eleanor Powell, The Broadway Melody of 1940

  4. I'm Old Fashioned, Rita Hayworth, You Were Never Lovelier

  5. Dancing In The Dark, Cyd Charisse, The Bandwagon

And The Winner is.....

Never Gonna Dance, Ginger Rogers, Swing Time

Despite some very tough opposition in the category, "Never Gonna Dance" stands out for the sheer emotional weight it carries. Probably no other dance Fred did with anyone had so much pain and loss, so much desperation, and so much sorrow. All this, plus a recapitulation of the entire story line, a unification of all the choreography, and an encapsulation of every relationship that ever ended in mutual tears, is summed up in a brilliant number.

The dance itself can be split in several parts. Firstly, the dialogue beforehand sets the stage. Fred and Ginger, facing each other, have nothing left to say to each other but cannot bear to part. Few words are spoken, but when they are, they are tentative yet laden with meaning. The depth of feeling can only be hinted at, and fine acting on the part of both Fred and Ginger make this dramatic scene incredibly moving.

As the music starts, Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields' haunting and moving song expresses Fred's longing brilliantly. It is sad, poignant, but its lyrics are a reflection of the earlier conversation: tentative yet laden with hidden meaning. It's chorus is simple, effective and affective: "Never gonna dance. Never gonna dance. Only gonna love. Never gonna dance."

With the mood set, Ginger descends to Fred for one last attempt at reconciliation. Fred desperately searches for something- anything- that will win her back. He tries, once again, to win her in the dance, but the dancing seems empty and hollow and lifeless. He drops his head in frustration and she begins to walk away.

However, a new, final, defiant resolve flares in him and he grabs her hand and turns her around to face him. Making his last ditch, final, all-or-nothing-at-all appeal, they begin to dance again. He pulls out happy memories of the past, referencing earlier dances, in particular the first dance move that they did together. More and more energy and effort is poured into the dance, but it comes for naught as she spins away. He pursues up the other flight of stairs.

At the landing at the top of the stairs, everything builds toward a frenzied finish as Fred attempts to keep Ginger spinning and spinning and spinning. Finally he grabs her and looks deep into her eyes. But she pulls away and flees out the door, fearful that she might succumb if she stayed a moment longer, and he slumps dejected against the wall.

The final landing sequence took forty-seven takes and Ginger's feet were bleeding by the time they got a take which both Fred and Ginger were satisfied with. But the hard work shows. "Never Gonna Dance" is the pinnacle of dancing as a medium of emotional expression and storytelling.

Next Category: Best Choreography

Last Updated on Monday, 12 October 2009 10:19