Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Random discovery of amazing tap dancer acrobats from yesteryear!

This evening Nicholas hit his elbow when Mike was carrying him the back door. After giving him lots of hugs and affection, he seemed to forget about it. When he remembered his injury, he said, "Mommy, gimme some love." That reminded me of the song "Gimme Some Lovin'," so I looked it up on youtube and played it for him.

Then he wanted to type his name into the search engine (he's been really interested in writing and spelling things out recently), and lo and behold, we discovered The Nicholas Brothers in a clip with Cab Calloway from "Stormy Weather" (1943).

Mikhail Baryshnikov once called Fayard and Howard Nicholas the most amazing dancers he had ever seen in his life. Gregory Hines declared that if their biography was ever filmed, their dance numbers would have to be computer generated because no one could duplicate them.

Perhaps if I watched more old-time movies I would have discovered them before now. I couldn't help but ponder if they would have been more famous if they had been white. So readers...have you ever heard of the Nicholas Brothers, or are we alone in being ignorant?

I've never seen such sheer athleticism and synchronicity in a pair of dancers. Needless to say, Nicholas was delighted with this video clip (the song starts out with Cab Calloway, and then the Nicholas Brothers jump up and start dancing at about 1:33):

Those splits down the stairs look positively painful to me! Fred Astaire described this dance number as the greatest movie musical sequence he had ever seen.

Like Virgina Woolf's  theory of Shakespeare's sister (who wouldn't have had the opportunities and chances for success that Shakespeare had), I am convinced that the Nicholas Brothers would have been legends had they been white men and had their life circumstances been different.

Then Kieran wanted to type his name into the search field, and we discovered a talented 12-year-old drummer from "Britain's Got Talent" named Kieran Gaffney (who has reportedly only been playing the drums for a year!).


  1. I can't wait to show this clip to my son this weekend! Thanks for posting :-)

  2. You're welcome!! Yesterday my Nicholas watched a playlist of the Nicholas Brothers for 1/2 hour--he loves them!