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March 4, 2010 9:14 PM   Subscribe

The 35 Best Dance Sequences on Film and 10 Random Dance Sequences in Non-Dancing Films.
posted by crossoverman (78 comments total) 71 users marked this as a favorite

 
Can't believe the "10 Random" list didn't inclue Bande a Part.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:24 PM on March 4, 2010 [14 favorites]


Neither listed anything from the Big Lebowski (which has some fantastic dance/dream scenes) or the ending of Zatoichi, which shows some sort of failure somewhere.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:27 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Easter Parade was robbed.
posted by hermitosis at 9:30 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


They quite properly featured Fred Astaire in there, and I suppose that Ginger Rogers comes with him. But Fred Astaire could dance with a hat rack and make it look good. In fact, he did in one of his movies. I'm a bit surprised they didn't include that one.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:30 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


No Batusi?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:33 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


But, chocolate pickle, remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, just backwards, and in high heels.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:38 PM on March 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


Rules of Attraction never fails to make me smile. This post is awesome.
posted by the_royal_we at 9:41 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


The absence of even one Bollywood scene makes me question how thoroughly researched these two lists are. (No, Slumdog doesn't count).

Nonetheless, I'm really looking forward to watching these and busting out some goofily executed dance quotes at the next wedding I'm invited to.

And I'm really looking forward to someone more knowledgable posting some Bollywood clips that should've made the list.
posted by surenoproblem at 9:42 PM on March 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ditto, C. Pickle.

Also, "Make'm Laugh" by the Great Donald O'Connor in "Singing in the Rain" - awesomely funny, gorgeous dance. Not romantic & smooth, but bouncey & wonderful.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:43 PM on March 4, 2010


No, no, no, no, no.

If I were half the dancer I was 20 years ago, I'd take a FLAMETHROWER to this dance floor!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:56 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


But, chocolate pickle, remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, just backwards, and in high heels.

No, Ghidorah, no - she didn't.

And I'm getting tired of hearing that tripe. Only Gene Kelly could equal Mr. Astaire in sheer talent, and probably surpassed him - better singer, possibly a better actor, and a fine director as well.

Besides, Cyd Charisse was a better dancer than Ginger. Maybe Leslie Caron, as well.

Ginger was graceful and peppy, but that was really most of her range. Raunchy, sexy, powerful? Not in her repertoire.

She accompanied Astaire well, but she never really shone on her own. Other female dancers of the time did, so there's no reason to blame "the man" for holding her back.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:58 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers doing "Jumping Jive" in Stormy Weather.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:03 PM on March 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Needs more madcap Lindy Hop.
posted by tula at 10:04 PM on March 4, 2010


IAmBroom: "Besides, Cyd Charisse was a better dancer than Ginger. Maybe Leslie Caron, as well."

Eleanor Powell.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:08 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


500 Days of Summer dance scene.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:08 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


But, chocolate pickle, remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, just backwards, and in high heels.

The only reason it seemed like that was that Astaire was limiting himself to what she could keep up with.

Notice that when they stopped performing together, Astaire kept dancing and continued to be a headliner. Rogers faded out and vanished from sight.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:10 PM on March 4, 2010


I'm oddly soft on the Bollywood sequence in Clerks 2. It makes me sniffly.

Of course, there's that other Clerks 2 dance sequence, too (NSFW).
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:26 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joe Beese I came to say the same thing but with different music.
posted by bfootdav at 10:32 PM on March 4, 2010


Twist & Shout in Ferris Bueller's Day Off deserves a mention, surely.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:47 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


You can't have meta and dance and not include anything having to do with "All that Jazz". Here's the emotional heart of the movie, a simple dance by two women that love the protaganist. And as contrast, here's the epic fantastic end featuring a singing, dancing Roy Scheider, Ben Vereen and two women dancing with their skin inside out.
posted by now i'm piste at 10:57 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joe Beese I came to say the same thing but with different music .

See and here I thought you meant this one.
posted by carsonb at 11:11 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of course, there's that other Clerks 2 dance sequence , too (NSFW).

See and here I thought you meant this one.
posted by carsonb at 11:18 PM on March 4, 2010


My vote involves John Travolta, though maybe not in the way you'd expect.
posted by invitapriore at 11:21 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


We're forgetting Surviving Desire. Also, does anybody else think that skinny kid from Road Trip looks like Mark E. Smith if he'd ever eaten a vegetable and knew how to smile? No? Okay.
posted by Football Bat at 11:38 PM on March 4, 2010


Seconding Stormy Weather. I know nothing about dance, but I know that shit with the giant staircase was ridiculous. Also this one
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 11:56 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


carsonb -- killer. I hadn't seen that before.
invitapriore, thanks for posting that because it all sets up nicely for this story. I had just finished watching the dance scene from Godard's Bande a part (see my and invitapriore's posts above) and became convinced that given all the cool it oozed that Tarantino must have been influenced by it when doing that dance scene in Pulp Fiction. I mentioned this to a buddy who then revealed that Tarantino's production company is "A Band Apart" taken from that Godard film. My morning drunk had its mind blown.
posted by bfootdav at 11:58 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


uh, I stand corrected. Wasn't really aware what I said was tripe, but I'll take your word for it.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:05 AM on March 5, 2010


Its too bad that second list only has films from the past decade or so, as it misses out on two great random dance scenes from Hal Hartley: Surviving Desire and Simple Men.
posted by googly at 12:06 AM on March 5, 2010


Whatever happened to Hal Hartley? I used to love his films - those two and Amateur, in particular.
posted by crossoverman at 12:39 AM on March 5, 2010


This particular, admittedly under-powered, linux box with firefox, segmentation faults on that first link. Listing the individual youtube links might be a more inclusionary way to go.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:45 AM on March 5, 2010


And since I have no way of knowing what those 35 links are for now, here's the barn dance, just in case.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:12 AM on March 5, 2010


I was shocked to not see the Nicholas brothers in the list.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:22 AM on March 5, 2010


Again, I'm working blind here, but if this isn't in there maybe it should be. (Julie Andrews in the opening sequence of her then-husband Blake Edwards' S.O.B)
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:28 AM on March 5, 2010


StickyCarpet— the 35 from the first link are
1. 42nd Street (1933)
2. Top Hat (1935)
3. The Little Colonel (1935)
4. Swing Time (1936)
5. The Red Shoes (1948)
6. Singing in the Rain (1952)
7. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
8. It’s Always Fair Weather (1955)
9., 10., & 11. West Side Story (1961)
12. Mary Poppins (1964)
13. The Sound of Music (1965)
14. The Turning Point (1977)
15. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
16. Grease (1978)
17. Fame (1980)
18. Annie (1982)
19. Flashdance (1983)
20. Footloose (1984)
21. White Nights (1985)
22. A Chorus Line (1985)
23. Girls Just Want To Have Fun (1985)
24. Dirty Dancing (1987)
25. Strictly Ballroom (1992)
26. Pulp Fiction (1994)
27. Showgirls (1995)
28. Center Stage (2000)
29. Moulin Rouge (2001)
30. Chicago (2002)
31. Billy Elliot (2000)
32. Save the Last Dance (2001)
33. You Got Served (2004)
34. Stomp the Yard (2007)
35. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

posted by hattifattener at 1:32 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thank you, hattifattener, you're so kind.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:47 AM on March 5, 2010


My love for classic movies was sealed when, sick with flu and miserably channel-surfing, I came across a movie that featured Gene Kelly in boxer shorts dancing on cots (in barracks? no time to Google this up now). Boxer shorts! Gene Kelly! So graceful, athletic, sexy, and smile-inducing. Not a flu cure, but really made me feel better.

I'm bookmarking these for future dance-sequence-spirit-lifting use. Thanks!
posted by quietalittlewild at 3:44 AM on March 5, 2010


10 Random Dance Sequences in Non-Dancing Films

I've got a soft spot for this completely random one in one of the most random films of all time.
posted by ninebelow at 4:17 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd never gotten around to seeing Singin' in the Rain until just this month!

The reason I think is that, if you haven't seen it, it seems like its probably a dull movie with one interesting song and dance sequence. At least thats how its promoted.

But, wow, now I am one of the enlightened. The entire movie is great and, in fact, the rain dance sequence is probably only my 3rd or 4th favorite part of that movie.

Gene Kelly's energy and power and smoothness is something to behold. And then there's Cyd Charisse
posted by vacapinta at 4:44 AM on March 5, 2010


Stupid list. How can you have 35 dances and leave off June is Bustin' Out All Over from Carousel (an otherwise strange movie).

While were at, how about THE Christopher Walken in Pennies from Heaven.
posted by ovvl at 4:45 AM on March 5, 2010


It's just a jump to the left.
posted by drlith at 4:48 AM on March 5, 2010


Aren't these the 35 best dance sequences on film currently on YouTube?

No sign of this, for example.

Also, La Tabacalera.
posted by thomas j wise at 4:50 AM on March 5, 2010


Pulp Fiction?

Bah. And they are missing the greatest all time. Natasha and Andre at Natasha's debut in Bondarchuk's War and Peace.

Well the greatest I ever saw. Obviously I never saw every movie ever made.
posted by bukvich at 5:04 AM on March 5, 2010


I read that as "The 35 Best Death Sequences on Film" and was going to click on it...

But dance? If it isn't Fred Astaire...
posted by Drasher at 5:27 AM on March 5, 2010


I'm guessing the absence of Ann Miller is due to lack of available video of "I Gotta Hear That Beat" from Small Town Girl. Because, wow. Although a number of scenes from either Kiss Me Kate or On The Town (with or without her) would have fit right in. "Shakin' the Blues Away" would have worked too.
posted by Dojie at 5:33 AM on March 5, 2010


I came here to say "Stormy Weather", but I'll throw in Hellzapopin' for good measure.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 6:06 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Love it. I wish I was born where I could have been dancing in the 40s/50s. I would have ruled.
posted by stormpooper at 6:28 AM on March 5, 2010


My personal fave is the random Thriller sequence from Shaolin Soccer.

I'm not sure whether Busby Berkeley falls into to the "random" or "non-random" category?

(evidence for the "random" camp-- this bizarre opening sequence from The Kid From Spain.
posted by joshwa at 6:35 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love a dance movie, and I second the cry for an Ann Miller clip.

I also submit on the random side the finale of Romy & Michele's HS Reunion.
posted by rainbaby at 6:58 AM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


vacapinta, I'm so glad you've discovered the all-the-way-through wonderfulness that is Singin' In The Rain.

I think there are at least two dance sequences in that movie better than the title song: Kelly and O'Connor in Moses Supposes His Toeses are Roses, and the same two guys in Fit as a Fiddle. O'Connor doesn't get the props he should for Make 'Em Laugh, either.
posted by not that girl at 8:05 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mostly agree with the first list. Indeed, I was pleasantly surprised to find "Step in Time" from Mary Poppins included, which was one of the first that came to my mind, but wasn't sure they'd remember it.

The one omission I'd add is maybe a bit different in character from most of the others on the list. It's not spectacular choreography, but that's made up for by its whimsical beauty: the scene in Grand Central Station in The Fisher King.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:16 AM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


No Bollywood? Bullshit.
posted by chunking express at 8:36 AM on March 5, 2010


I feel like the Blues Brothers should be represented here. Maybe the scene in Reverend Cleophus James' church leading up to "Yes! Yes! Jesus-H-Tap-Dancing-Christ, I have seen the light!" or even better, everything going on in the Ray Charles Twist It piece.
posted by quin at 8:36 AM on March 5, 2010


I thought of the Blues Brothers right after I posted, quin - I agree. Now I want to want to watch the Blues Brothers. Enough years have passed, it's a once every five years movie.
posted by rainbaby at 8:44 AM on March 5, 2010


Nicholas Brothers and Glenn Miller, "I've Got A Gal In Kalamazoo." Ho-leee shiiiit. Fayard Nicholas dances up a wall and does a backflip. In tux and tails. They make me cry, they're so graceful. (And I can't keep track of how many of their moves would leave me maimed or killed.) Maybe both lists should just be Nicholas Brothers routines (since "Stormy Weather" is two random dudes from the audience who jump up and dance).
posted by kirkaracha at 8:48 AM on March 5, 2010


No idea whether this is even on youtube (I can't check at work) but the Tango sequence from Shanghai, Shanghai, starring Yuen Biao and Anita Mui is lovely - it's a tango that segues seamlessly into a fight, and then back.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 9:05 AM on March 5, 2010


I think there are at least two dance sequences in that movie better than the title song: Kelly and O'Connor in Moses Supposes His Toeses are Roses, and the same two guys in Fit as a Fiddle. O'Connor doesn't get the props he should for Make 'Em Laugh, either.

I love the title song sequence because it has a simple, joyous quality that is pure and lovely. It never fails to make me happy. But I completely agree that the Kelly/O'Connor sequences and Make 'Em Laugh are just fantastic. What a movie.
posted by Mavri at 9:13 AM on March 5, 2010


You really can't take seriously a dance list that lacks Cyd Charisse.
posted by Omon Ra at 9:15 AM on March 5, 2010


Regular dancing is out, dancing on bmx bikes is the new frontier.
posted by asterisk at 9:20 AM on March 5, 2010


Most of the links on the Non-Dancing films are pulled. :(
posted by Ber at 10:13 AM on March 5, 2010


Sally Potter's The Tango Lesson?
Carlos Saura's Carmen? The factory rehearsal scene??? You tell me to my face you do not want to have sex with Antonio Gades after watching him dance.

And Save the Last Dance is on this list? What.
posted by spec80 at 10:15 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, come on. Walken, people.
posted by cmoj at 10:27 AM on March 5, 2010


DevilsAdvocate: I was looking for "The Fisher King" too. I love that scene.
posted by Songdog at 10:31 AM on March 5, 2010


Ducky.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:42 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jaan Pehechaan Ho, from the classic 1966 Bollywood film.
posted by jokeefe at 10:47 AM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, Bob Fosse.
posted by spec80 at 11:03 AM on March 5, 2010


Singin' In the Rain, is, in my opinion, the greatest movie ever made! Citizen Kane, pfffft. Singin' in the Rain has everything: dancing, humor, a love story, cool period costumes and cars. And Jean Hagen is so funny in that movie I laugh before she even opens her mouth.
posted by interplanetjanet at 12:35 PM on March 5, 2010


Band Wagon, Cyd Charisse and Fred Astaire.
posted by xod at 12:37 PM on March 5, 2010


Bah! I don't see "The Carlton" on the list...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 1:02 PM on March 5, 2010


Also, Bob Fosse.
posted by turbodog at 1:53 PM on March 5, 2010


wow no Hellzapoppin Lindy-hoppin?. i am surprised.
posted by marienbad at 2:44 PM on March 5, 2010


dang - late again and beaten to it. dang.
posted by marienbad at 2:45 PM on March 5, 2010


Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis, Jr. facing off from the 1989 movie Tap; at 6:15 "Use nothing he can steal" LOL; And Bob Fosse's All That Jazz, so many to choose from there...
posted by lbf at 4:48 PM on March 5, 2010


hey, 25 is a small number...but the list is good! thanks to the rest of you for fleshing it out!
posted by HuronBob at 6:57 PM on March 5, 2010


the Tango sequence from Shanghai, Shanghai, starring Yuen Biao and Anita Mui is lovely

Ooh, ohh -- the Never On Sunday scene from Dance of a Dream with Anita Mui, Andy Lau and Sandra Ng. Not because the dancing is any great shakes, but because I don't recall seeing anyone having so much fun in a movie, ever.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:44 AM on March 6, 2010


I'm surprised Royal Wedding didn't make it onto that list. Besides the hat rack dance, that film also featured Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:24 PM on March 7, 2010


Corrected link to Fred Astaire's ceiling dance!
posted by SisterHavana at 1:25 PM on March 7, 2010


Ginger Rogers was a genius. We watched Top Hat the other night. So effortless and casual. Fred Astaire was a genius virtuoso, but she made him look good, even more than good. That requires a special form of concentrated artistry, the supporting role. She was a genius at that.
posted by ovvl at 6:37 PM on March 7, 2010


Joe Beese, thanks for the Eleanor Powell reference!

And, to be clear, ovvl, I'm certainly not trying to take anything away from Ginger, a truly world-class dancer. But - she's no Fred Astaire. He's a rara avis.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:48 PM on March 7, 2010


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