Monday, March 16, 2009

Eleanor Powell and tap dancing

The other day I was procrastinating (yes, I did finally get that story done...) and happened to think, "I like tapdancing, but I've not really seen much of it." So, I fired up youtube, and found this:

Which is all kinds of awesome, especially for 1937. But it gets better!

This is a pretty famous scene - I don't think I'd even seen it before, but I have played the music. Notice something, though:

It's a 'couple', a man and a women dancing, and yet they manage to be completely equal! The steps are the same, the stage position is the same, it's all the same. (Minus the clothes, of course.)

Now, I don't know much about dancing, but I do know that it is usually quite gendered. Ballroom has it's 'leading' partner, ballet and modern dance often feature women being lifted and tossed by men, and even random people dancing for fun and mating talk about dancing 'like a guy' or 'like a girl'. Not so here.

I don't know if this equality is typical for tap, but this instance, at least, seemed pleasantly gender-free!

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