The Nicholas Brothers — Pure Unadulterated Joy

28 Sep

Do not underestimate this routine just because it’s in black and white — sometimes you just can’t beat the classics.  What I love about the Nicholas Brothers is that when they are dancing, their hearts are leaping right along with them.  They make it look so easy and effortless.  They are so light on their feat that with every step they take, they are practically flying.

It’s quite unfortunate that despite their obviously ground-breaking talent, the Nicholas Brothers never achieved the same acclaim in the media as the other dancers of their time (such as Fred Astaire, Charlie Chaplin, Shirley Temple, and Busby Berkely) due the color of their skin.

Although they have taught master classes in tap dance as teachers-in-residence at Harvard University, they did not choreograph.  Most of what they do is done on a whim, barely rehearsed.   Even their sequence in Stormy Weather (which, by the way, is hailed by the legendary Fred Astaire as “the greatest dance number ever filmed”) is done in a call-and-response act with the pianist.

If none of the above convinced you to watch this, then at least do so for the leapfrog splits — absolutely death-defying.

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