Best Choreography Print

The Nominees are.....

  1. The Belle Of New York, Fred Astaire and Robert Alton

  2. The Broadway Melody of 1940, Fred Astaire and Bobby Connelly

  3. Swing Time, Fred Astaire and Hermes Pan

And The Winner Is.....

Swing Time, Fred Astaire and Hermes Pan

Swing Time has four main dance numbers: one solo, "Bojangles of Harlem," by Fred which is extremely inventive, utilising camera depth to create imagery and special effects to make it looks like Fred is dancing with his own shadows (and outpacing them); and three duets, one refreshing, exuberant, bouncy, buoyant and infinitely rewatchable ("Pick Yourself Up"); one technically perfect that is a showcase in absolute perfection ("Waltz In Swing Time"); and one a mini story in itself that ties together not only the previous dances but also the whole plot and is incredibly emotional and effective ("Never Gonna Dance").

Not only do the three duets cleverly progress and advance the plot, all three in themselves explore various stages of the courtship and are key to their exact position in the film. "Pick Yourself Up" is the opening stage of the love affair. Flush with new love and excited about the possibilities, it is fast, funny, physical and a joy to dance and a joy to watch. "Waltz In Swing Time" is a more mature celebration of the courtship: the edge has been taken of the excitement, the adrenalin has lessened, but in its place is a new found understanding and discipline that maturity brings. Finally, "Never Gonna Dance" is the painful separation that ends the love affair- but not without one last try to make it work. Ginger wavers in her decision to leave, and Fred attempts with a last burst of determination to win her back. The steps reference the earlier dances, reminding her of the emotions of the previous two stages; but as emotions rise and desperation increases, Ginger flees and leaves Fred alone and dejected.

Finally, and most importantly, the choreography is all connected. The very first step the Fred and Ginger perform together appears in all three dances, but in different guises, adapting the each new situation and the accompanying emotions and situations. Even though Fred would go on to create other dances that equal or better any of the dances here on technical or artistic merit, the unity of the choreography of Swing Time as a whole is not matched in his entire career.

Next Category: Special Awards

Last Updated on Monday, 12 October 2009 10:24