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”.
Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame gives a wonderful presentation on the process and challenges he encountered making a Dodo bird skeleton. It gives an insight into the mind of the man as well as some good creative tips. Some think he is being obsessive in the detail he embarks upon in making the Dodo bird skeleton however the questions he asks himself are typical of what a prop maker needs to consider in the course of their work.
The Dodo bird and Maltese Falcon prop
As well as making the Dodo bird skeleton Adam also discusses the making of a copy of the Maltese Falcon. A Maltese Falcon statuette was the primary prop in the 1941 Humphrey Bogart film of the same name which has become a cinema classic.
This Youtube video can also be found at “youtube.com/watch?v=29SopXQfc_s”.
Two new works from the Sydney Dance Company premiere on March 23rd 2010. The first work by Rafael Bonachela, “6 Breaths”, is set to a newly commissioned score by Italian composer Ezio Bosso. The second, “Are We That We Are”, is a physical exploration into the existence of altered states of consciousness within human experience created and performed in by Adam Linder. The costume designs were realised by Jordan Askhill.
The costume props for the production were produced by DecoWorks in close collaboration with the designer.
Below is a short video excerpt taken from the production.