There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?
Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.
Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.
But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:
"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.
"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.
"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"
- Remember the man who was bullied for dancing a few months ago ... ›
- Ghana's dancing pallbearers have a message for anyone who isn't ... ›
- A former ballerina with Alzheimer's hears 'Swan Lake' and bursts ... ›