Watching Fred Astaire make a dance prop seemingly come to life in a scene is testament to his imagination and skill as a performer. A dance prop is in important element in any film or theatrical production and there was no greater exponent in the art of using them than Fred Astaire. He was able to bring the most mundane objects to life in his dance routines. Who can forget him partnering with a hat rack dance prop in “Royal Wedding”?
Dance prop cane in “Blue Skies”
One of the most ubiquitous props in theatre is a walking stick or cane. Here is a clip from “Blue Skies” in which the cane dance prop takes on a life of its own in the deft hands of Fred Astaire. How the cane flies from the floor into his hands remains a mystery to me however his tap dancing still demonstrates the pure talent that was Fred Astaire. Long takes, minimal cuts and the clever use of a dance prop cane and mirrors make this clip a joy to watch.
This Youtube video can also be found at “youtube.com/watch?v=IFabjc6mFk4”.