Hermes Pan began choreographing Hollywood musicals in 1933, when his long-standing collaboration with Fred Astaire began. For over three decades he was the man who made the stars dance - Ginger Rogers, Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Cyd Charisse, Shirley MacLaine and many others.
Hermes Pan never took a single dance class and nevertheless all of today's great choreographers consider him the master of American Dance. Going back to Los Angeles and the movie studios, this film recalls the memories and passions of a man who has held in his arms some of the most beautiful Hollywood stars.
Assimilating elements from the multitude of cultures that co-existed around him, Pan created a style of dance that was truly American. In this programme, Pan introduces a dance extravaganza which takes viewers back to the days when the musical was all the rage, with extracts from My Gal Sal, with Rita Hayworth and Hermes Pan himself; Royal Wedding, with Fred Astaire; Kiss Me Kate, with Bob Fosse, Ann Miller and Carol Haney; Sombrero, with Cyd Charisse; Pal Joey, with Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak; Silk Stockings, with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse; Excuse My Dust, with Sally Forrest; Three Little Words, with Fred Astaire and Vera Allen; and the scene from Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor, when she makes her entry into Rome.
This documentary is the last one made with Pan before his death in 1990. It is a fascinating combination of irresistible archive films of the best of Hollywood’s dancers, and the unique viewpoint of one of cinema’s greatest choreographers.
Treasures of the Masterclass Media Foundation
A portrait of the American dancer and choreographer