Dance Film Sundays: The Marx Brothers in A DAY AT THE RACES

Dance Film Sundays: The Marx Brothers in A DAY AT THE RACES

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

2:00 pm |  $10/$9 members/$6 children

Harpo, Groucho, and Chico return to Rosendale in A Day At The Races (1937). A major hit for MGM, the film also stars Maureen O’Sullivan, Alan Jones, and Margaret Dumont and features classic Marx Brothers routines like Tutsi-Frutsi Ice-cream and the ebullient “All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm” musical number. Presented in collaboration with Got2Lindy Dance Studios, the screening of A Day At The Races is a tribute to dancer, choreographer and teacher Frankie Manning whose 100th birthday is being celebrated in 2014.

The lindy hop sequence in “All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm” is performed by the absolutely marvelous Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers of which Mr. Manning was a leading member. After the film there will be short a panel discussion about the life and work of Frankie Manning. The program will last approximately 2 hours. Immediately following the program a swing dance party will be held next-door at The Belltower (separate admission charge).

A Day At The Races is ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 funniest films of all-time and “All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm” was nominated for the short-lived Academy Award for Best Dance Direction of 1937. The sequence features a delightful cameo appearance by the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers was a professional dance company that originated from Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom. They were chiefly active in the 1930s, appearing in film, on Broadway, and concert performances.

Frankie Manning revolutionized the course of the lindy hop with his innovations, including the lindy air step and synchronized ensemble lindy routine. As the Swing Era declined Mr. Manning began a career with the US Postal Service which lasted for thirty years until his rediscovery by a new generation of swing dance enthusiasts in the mid-1980s. He won a 1989 Tony Award for his choreography in Black and Blue and continued to teach and choreograph until his death in 2009 shortly before his 95th birthday.

Dance Film Sundays, a series which started in June 2010 under the auspices of the Rosendale Theatre Collective, are held on the 2nd Sunday of every month at Rosendale Theatre.