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Wednesday
Feb052014

Nicholas Brothers - Down Argentine Way 1940, and more.

Nicholas Brothers, tap-dancing duo whose suppleness, strength, and fearlessness made them one of the greatest tap dance acts of all time, Fayard (1914–2006) and Harold (1921–2000). With their highly acrobatic technique ("flash dancing"), high level of artistry and daring innovations, they were considered by many the greatest tap dancers of their day. Growing up surrounded by Vaudeville acts as children, they became stars of the jazz circuit during the heyday of the Harlem Renaissance and went on to have successful careers performing on stage, film, and television well into the 1990s.(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
They appeared in numorous films starting as kids age 11 and 18. They could not be ignored. Because of racial prejudice, they appeared as guest artists, isolated from the plot, in many of their films this was a strategy used by Americans from the south tha allowed their scenes to be easily deleted from the films. By 1932 they became the featured act at Harlem's Cotton Club, when Harold was 11 and Fayard was 18. They astonished their mainly white audiences dancing to the Jazz tempos of "Bugle Call Rag" and they were the only entertainers in the African American cast allowed to mingle with white patrons. 
I had the pleasure of meeting Fayard in 1986 through Chester Whitmore. I felt humbled and ecstatic in his presence, being able to meet and get to know Fayard an icon in the dance world. We had the privilege of having him as a special Guest teaching and performing at the "International Swing Dance Festival" in Santa Barbara along with Frankie Manning in 1993 and 1994. Fayard and Harrold's impact on the dance community is unmatched. This of course along with the Great Frankie Manning the Ambassador of the Lindy Hop.

Here The Nicholas Brothers in 1941 with Dorothy Dandridge in Sun Valley Serenade" dancing to  Glen Millers "Chatanooga Choo Choo".
Intro into dancing starts at 4:04 minutes into the video!

Here is a GREAT PROGRAM (45 Min) on the amazing life of the Nicholas Brothers "We Sing We Dance" starting at the hight of the "Harlem Renaissance". 

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