Just heard about the death of Cyd Charisse on NPR. Born in Amarillo, she took up dancing as a youngster to gain strength after recovering from polio.
Cyd was blessed with great talent, great beauty, and amazing grace. Dancers today just don't have the same savoir-faire, in my opinion. Golden Hollywood is rapidly disappearing.
In The Band Wagon, Cyd paired with Fred Astaire, who was 54 at the time, but still a master of dance. The movie isn't a favorite of mine except for the dance sequences. Storyline and acting is...let's just say a far cry from stellar. And Astaire's smoking is too much of a distraction. The Dancing in the Dark number is beautifully choregraphed and Astaire and Charisse are magical:
More recently than her Hollywood heyday, here is a YouTube of the Janet Jackson music video, "Alright", which has a brief dance scene with Cyd. The segment is a few minutes into the video - at approximately 2:59 (the scene is in front of a fancy dress store with the marquee "Sue Ellen's").
Goodbye, Cyd. Here's hoping you're dancing tonight with the best - Fred and Gene.