- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
In 1905, four-and-a-half-year-old Fred Astaire put on his first pair of dancing shoes — and from that moment, his life was filled with singing, dancing, and fancy footwork. Fred’s older sister, Adele, was the real dancer, but Fred worked hard to get all the steps just right, and it wasn’t long before he was the one capturing headlines and stealing the show. In this ...
In 1905, four-and-a-half-year-old Fred Astaire put on his first pair of dancing shoes — and from that moment, his life was filled with singing, dancing, and fancy footwork. Fred’s older sister, Adele, was the real dancer, but Fred worked hard to get all the steps just right, and it wasn’t long before he was the one capturing headlines and stealing the show. In this fascinating story of child stars who hoof their way to knockout success on Broadway and beyond, Roxane Orgill and Stéphane Jorisch team up for a bravura performance, capturing the sophistication, fluidity, and grace of two of the biggest names in dance history.
In 1905, when Fred Astaire was five and his sister, Adele, was seven, they traveled with their mother from Nebraska to New York City so that they could attend dancing school. After only one year, their teacher put them in a show. Next thing they knew, they were in vaudeville and traveling by train with only each other as friends. Although they went through some tough times, they persisted and finally were offered a Broadway show. They wowed crowds in New York and London until Adele married an English nobleman and gave up performing. Fred continued on and became a movie star. This picture-book biography highlights the youthful years of the two talented siblings. The pleasantly written text and appealing, detailed ink, watercolor, and gouache illustrations provide a charming glimpse into the world of vaudeville and show the hard work and talent that was needed for Fred, in particular, to become one of the most renowned dancers of the 20th century.
—Carol ScheneCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Posted February 2, 2009
Both Balanchine and Nueyev called Fred Astaire the best dancer of the 20th century. Even today, some two decades after his death, he is well remembered when one of his 30 movie musicals is shown on television, and he is still considered to be one of the world's most debonair gentlemen, an icon of male fashion. We think of Fred and Ginger, as together with Ginger Rogers he made ten memorable films. But, how many remember that his first dancing partner was his sister, Adele? She was the one considered to be a born dancer. So, in 1905 Adele (age 7), Fred (age 5) and their mother boarded a train for New York City so Adele could attend dancing school. Father remained in Omaha where he worked for a brewery. Fred joined his sister in taking lessons and before long their instructor put them in a show, as a bride and groom who 'tap-danced on top of a pair of wooden wedding cakes.' At that time vaudeville was all the rage, and the talented youngsters soon won a spot on the vaudeville circuit. Mother, daughter and son began traveling from town, eventually returning to Omaha where they were enthusiastically received. At that time, Adele was the star of the act. However, the time came when they were no longer children, not 'adorable little kids,' so they were reduced to playing on a small-time circuit. Times were tough as they shared the stage with trained seals. But they worked hard, perfected new acts and finally won the hearts of theater goers. They were offered a part in a Broadway show in 1917. Success followed success until in 1932 Adele announced her intention to marry and retire - they had danced together for almost 30 years. Shortly thereafter Fred flew to Hollywood and the rest is cinema history. Footwork is a charming biography of a persevering family, his talented sister, and the man many consider to have had the most influence on movie musicals. Who else danced on a wall? - Gail CookeWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 2, 2009
No text was provided for this review.