Perhaps the most spectacular dance sequences in any Kaye movie where those created for Zizi Jeanmarie and Erik Bruhn by Roland Petit (now that's class!) for Hans Christian Andersen that delightful 1952 fantasy based more on the stories of the Danish writer than his actual life. But dance also figured - tongue very much in cheek - two years later in Knock on Wood. As a neurotic American ventriloquist whose dummy seems to have taken over the act Kaye gets involved with spies, counter-spies and dead bodies. He spends most of the film changing disguises as he runs for his life ending up in a ballet sequence that out-exotics anything that the Ballet Russes ever came up with. Choreographed to a fare-the-well by Michael Kidd (more class) and featuring Diana Adams - of the New York City Ballet (even more class) - as a rather nonplussed prima ballerina partnered by a danseur less than nobile it is a brilliant send-up of all the cliches beloved of classical dance.
I'm posting this with a big hug to my darling Simonetta - who drew me more into the world of dance than I had ever been and in the process gave me a new love and appreciation of it as an art and as an entertainment. Baci cara and 1000 grazie!
May 7 - 1920 – The Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto, opens the first exhibition by the Group of Seven.