Everyone knows Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. The can be fried dancing duo throughout the 1930s, the pair make nine films together. Castle symbolized “old Hollywood”, a time as soon as life was basic and glamorous. They also symbolized the sexism that the Hollywood market — payment Ginger fifty percent and working her double. Choose all solid women, Ginger persevered v a smile on she face and went on come be considered the greatest dancers of every time — also with a companion who refuse to let she lead or choreograph.

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Considered to be Astaire’s finest dance partner, Ginger Rogers hosted the difficult task of maintaining up with a man who choreographed the dances for himself.

“He to be the one in charge. He operated on the routines together though he to be planning a army operation. Every action that the intended to take was mapped the end on file by the in advance, and then top top a blackboard.

Even so, Fred was always generous about Ginger, although would certainly say, “I didn’t desire a partner.” But, in expert terms, the added, “She was the appropriate kind the girl to work-related with.”

What Astaire was after, that course, was perfection. Indeed, he to be such a perfectionist that after law 54 take away of one shot on the Castles film, the cleaner polishing the dance floor noticed a stream of red sticky liquid leading to where Ginger to be sitting. It was from her blooded shoes, the outcomes of burst blisters.


She didn’t complain. That was, she said, simply since she to be as much of a perfectionist as he was. “I constantly wanted come do another take. Ns was tireless. They might never tire me out. The only time I ever before stopped was when my hair to be wet – dripping under my back.”

Although the dance routines to be choreographed by Astaire and also his collaborator Hermes Pan, both have actually acknowledged Rogers’s input and also have also testified to her consummate professionalism, even during periods of extreme strain, as she tried come juggle her many other contractual film commitments v the punishing rehearsal schedules of Astaire, who made at many two movies in any one year. In 1986, shortly prior to his death, Astaire remarked,

“All the girls I ever danced with thought they couldn’t carry out it, but of course they could. For this reason they constantly cried. All except Ginger. No no, Ginger never ever cried”.

According to Astaire, once they were an initial teamed with each other in Flying down to Rio,

“Ginger had never danced v a partner before. She faked the an awful lot. She couldn’t tap and she couldn’t do this and that … however Ginger had actually style and also talent and also improved as she went along. She gained so the after a while anyone else who danced through me looked wrong.”


In Ginger’s autobiography she vividly remembers this night as the night she bled though her shoes. They walk so plenty of takes, she feet blistered, bled, and the white satin high heels she was wearing finished he night pink due to the fact that they were literally full of blood. And also still they keep shooting. She keeps dancing.

In her classic 1930s musicals with Astaire, Ginger Rogers, co-billed with him, was paid much less than Fred, the an innovative force behind the dances, who additionally received 10% the the profits. She was likewise paid less than countless of the supporting “farceurs” billed beneath her, in spite of her lot more central role in the films’ an excellent financial successes. This was personally grating to her and had impacts upon her relationships at RKO, especially with director note Sandrich, who purported disrespect the Rogers motivated a spicy letter the reprimand native producer Pandro Berman, i m sorry she reputed important enough to i have announced in she autobiography. Rogers fought hard for she contract and also salary rights and also for better films and scripts.

Let’s take it a moment to watch these dance clips the the two.

Not only did she run “backwards” in high heels, the dances were a job in themselves. Astaire was an pure perfectionist and choreographed for himself, so together a younger, much less experienced dancer Rogers come in at a disadvantage and worked she ass turn off to match him.

Then there’s the filming complications… these numbers were filmed in ONE TAKE. So one thing goes wrong and also you have to start over. Ginger had actually to contend with she wardrobe. Dance in heels is the norm at this time, yet dancing in a dress designed because that cinema cameras… not so much. They to be heavy, embellished, uncomfortable, restrictive and also cumbersome and essentially a 3rd member that the dance, strapped come the human body of one partner.Not just did she have to dance and also look good, she had to regulate the dress too.

Take this program from totter Time… (start in ~ the 1:30 mark)

This dress has actually weights, yes WEIGHTS, sewn in to the hem to make it fly out and create a visual effect. For this reason it’s heavy, it hurts if it hits you, and also your partner gets foolish if it hits him. So friend gotta regulate it.

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Well it transforms out every these factors on this set, this specific day no going for this reason well. So you’re doing take after take, this is no labour laws, so in ~ 4am ~ 18 hours you’re still going, also though part of the regimen requires you to spin increase those bent stairs through no rail in ~ high speed….