Celluloid Improvisations logo Jazz on Film Mark Cantor

Gene Kelly “Sweet Sue, Just You”

from ballet to rhythm tap. Less well known is the fact that Gene was a student of vernacular dance history, and vaudeville in particular. One of his early influences was King, King and King, who appear on film a number of times. On the more obscure side are the Percella Brothers (spelling uncertain), who originated the “chain dance.” Here Gene is joined by Dick Humphries (Dick appeared in 2 SOUNDIES in 1942) and Alex Plaschheart. The trio’s rendition of the chain dance, recreating a routine that originated decades before, is short and sweet, and is yet another reminder of how incredibly talented and versatile Gene was.

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