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Fred Astaire (1899 – 1987)


American film and stage dancer, actor, singer and choreographer.
Fred Astaire
Either the camera will dance, or I will.
Astaire quotes
You know, you so-and-so, you've a little of the hoodlum in you.
Astaire
There is no setup in Hollywood that compares with an Astaire picture.




Astaire Fred quotes
No dancer can watch Fred Astaire and not know that we all should have been in another business.
Astaire Fred
But when you're in a picture with Astaire, you've got rocks in your head if you do much dancing. He's so quick-footed and so light that it's impossible not to look like a hay-digger compared with him.
Fred Astaire quotes
If people would only realize when they ask me why I don't do a picture with him - they ask me that all the time, and were quite keen on it while I was in Hollywood - if they'd only realize that he's gone 'way ahead of me. Why I couldn't begin to keep up with him. I couldn't even reach the steps he throws away.
Fred Astaire
I can watch Astaire anytime. I don't think he ever made a wrong move. He was a perfectionist. He would work on a few bars for hours until it was just the way he wanted it. Gene was the same way. They both wanted perfection, even though they were completely different personalities.
Astaire Fred quotes
I think I can pinpoint the one moment when the American style of dressing first appeared. It was in an appalling 1933 movie called Dancing Lady during an otherwise forgettable dance number. It also just happened to be Fred Astaire's first on-camera dance. But don't look at the steps. Look at the outfit: Astaire is wearing a single-breasted, soft flannel suit with two-tone spectator shoes and a turtleneck. You wish you could look that stylish! Later that year, in Flying Down to Rio, we get the full Astaire impact. The muted plaid suit is not all that striking, but Fred is wearing it with a soft button-down shirt, a pale woven tie, silk pocket square, bright horizontally striped hose and white bucks. Whoa! Now that's different. This melange of the classic and the sporty was an American innovation. As we approach the impeccable Astaire's 100th birthday on May 10, it's worth remembering that he remains the greatest exemplar of that style.
Astaire
I once said that fifty years from now, the only one of today's dancers who will be remembered is Fred Astaire.
Astaire Fred
As one of the handful of girls who worked with both of those dance geniuses, I think I can give an honest comparison. In my opinion, Kelly is the more inventive choreographer of the two. Astaire, with Hermes Pan's help, creates fabulous numbers - for himself and his partner. But Kelly can create an entire number for somebody else... I think, however, that Astaire's coordination is better than Kelly's... his sense of rhythm is uncanny. Kelly, on the other hand, is the stronger of the two. When he lifts you, he lifts you!... To sum it up, I'd say they were the two greatest dancing personalities who were ever on screen. But it's like comparing apples and oranges. They're both delicious.
Fred Astaire
A: Nobody really. Well, actually, Fred Astaire.




Fred Astaire quotes
He's the greatest dancer who ever lived--greater than Nijinsky.
Fred Astaire
A four wood I hit on the 13th hole at Bel Air Country Club in June of 1945. It landed right on the green and rolled into the cup for a hole in one.
Astaire quotes
I don't think that I will plunge the nation into war by stating that Fred Astaire is the greatest tap-dancer in the world.
Astaire Fred
What's all this talk about me being teamed with Ginger Rogers? I will not have it Leland--I did not go into pictures to be teamed with her or anyone else, and if that is the program in mind for me I will not stand for it. I don't mind making another picture with her but as for this teams idea, it's out.
Astaire Fred quotes
The major difference between Astaire and Kelly is a difference, not of talent or technique, but of levels of sophistication. On the face of it, Kelly looks the more sophisticated. Where Kelly has ideas, Astaire has dance steps. Where Kelly has smartly tailored, dramatically apt Comden and Green scripts, Astaire in the Thirties made do with formulas derived from nineteenth-century French Farce. But the Kelly film is no longer a dance film. It's a story film with dances, as distinguished from a dance film with a story. When Fred and Ginger go into their dance, you see it as a distinct formal entity, even if it's been elaborately built up to in the script. In a Kelly film, the plot action and the musical set pieces preserve a smooth community of high spirits, so that the pressure in a dance number will often seem too low, the dance itself plebeian or folksy in order to "match up" with the rest of the picture.
Fred Astaire
He was a dictator who made me work harder and longer than anyone.
Fred Astaire quotes
He is the most interesting, the most inventive, the most elegant dancer of our times... you see a little bit of Astaire in everybody's dancing--a pause here, a move there. It was all Astaire's originally.
Fred Astaire
Astaire really sweat - he toiled. He was a humorless Teutonic man, the opposite of his debonair image in top hat and tails. I liked him because he was an entertainer and an artist. There's a distinction between them. An artist is concerned only with what is acceptable to himself, where an entertainer strives to please the public. Astaire did both. Louis Armstrong was another one.
Astaire Fred
I have had to do most of my choreography. I would say most of it, with help from various choreographers I have worked with.


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