Random Acts of Dancing: Women with Moves
Random Acts of Dancing is an ongoing exploration of the weird, wild and obscure world of cinematic dance scenes.
Back when I wrote those “Getting Emotional with Movies” articles, I wasn’t consciously aware of any pattern to the films I chose. If an identifiable pattern did emerge, I figure the most obvious would be my predilection toward female characters who know how to move it like they mean it. (Check out the posts on Joy, Desire and Exhilaration for further information.) I have noticed, though, that often when I come across a dance number that tickles my fancy, it’s in a film that I didn’t necessarily expect one to pop up. Like Christina Ricci‘s tap dance in Buffalo ’66, or this scene from The GoodTimesKid:
In the interest of helping others discover the lesser-known instances of cinematic shaking and shimmying, I put together this random list of some films with female dancing that you may not be aware of.
The Italian film To Be Twenty is about the (mis)adventures of two “Young, hot and pissed off” women looking for a thrill. If you are a connoisseur of such things, the actresses Gloria Guida and Lilli Carati wear shorts of a notably unabashed variety. (NOTE: I just saw another movie starring Guida called Blue Jeans. Apparently, immodest shorts are a common part of her wardrobe. Here are the opening credits. I imagine the video isn’t work safe, even though it’s not technically showing any naughty parts.) The above clip takes place about thirty minutes into the film. While that scene is fun and happy, the movie becomes a lot more serious toward the end. There’s another dance scene later on that makes this one seem like kind of a downer in retrospect. I guess you can just be content with the happy clip and not watch the rest of the movie to find out what I mean. Your call. (I do wonder what that guy is playing on the guitar that inspires that sort of dancing. I assume it’s not disco music.)
Teenage Mother isn’t as lurid as the trailer implies. It tells the story of a newly hired teacher from Sweden trying to convince members of the community about the importance of sex education. Most of the film comes across as a goofy public service message, rather than exploitative. So, if you’re looking for sleaze, Teenage Mother may not get the job done for you. If you enjoy odd dance scenes like myself, however, Teenage Mother has a pretty good one. It takes place between the main female character and a local hoodlum who peddles pornographic pictures in the school bathroom. Her movements are smooth and seductive. He moves in a bizarre, jerky fashion that, surprisingly, doesn’t frighten his partner away. Here’s the full scene, so you may marvel at it:
(NOTE: The most notorious scene from Teenage Mother involves graphic footage of childbirth. Someone actually uploaded the footage from the film onto YouTube. I’m not sure why anybody would want to watch it outside the context of the film, since it’s rather gross. Well, unless you’re interested in baby delivery techniques from over 40 years ago.)
The Indian Tomb is the second part of director Fritz Lang‘s “Indian Epic“. The first film, The Tiger of Eschnapur, sets up the conflict between a vengeful Maharahaja and the architect under his employ. They are both in love with the same woman, played by Debra Paget. She performs a dance number in both films, but the one in The Indian Tomb stands out most in my mind. The outfit she wears is certainly memorable on it’s own. What really makes it a scene for the ages, though, is the ridiculously fake cobra. Paget is mesmerized by the reptile’s hypnotic gaze. I’m mesmerized by how laughable the whole interaction is. (NOTE: The Tiger of Eschnapur also has an almost as silly scene involving a fake tiger. There’s a brief moment where a clearly visible string is shown carrying the animal as it leaps toward the architect. I’ve seen the movie a few times, and that part always jars me right out the action.)
Here’s Paget’s other dance scene from The Tiger of Eschnapur if you want to compare them.
I’ll leave you with this video of clips from Girl in Gold Boots set to the song “Aucune Fille au Monde” by French Pop performer Pussy Cat:
This post is part of our User Showcase series. You can find Chad as kingofpain on Flickchart. If you’re interested to submit your own story or article describing your thoughts about movies and Flickchart, read our original post for how to become a guest writer here on the Flickchart Blog.