Kaleidoscopes by Busby Berkeley

Kaleidoscopes by Busby Berkeley

Busby Berkeley (November 29, 1895 – March 14, 1976), born Busby Berkeley William Enos, was a Hollywood movie director and musical choreographer. Berkeley devised elaborate musical production numbers that often involved complex geometric patterns. Berkeley’s works used large numbers of showgirls and props as fantasy elements in kaleidoscopic on-screen performances. His earliest movie jobs were on Samuel Goldwyn’s Eddie Cantor musicals, where he began developing such techniques as a “parade of faces” (individualizing each chorus girl with a loving close-up), and moving his dancers all over the stage (and often beyond) in as many kaleidoscopic patterns as possible: Berkeley’s top shot technique. His numbers were known for starting out in the realm of the stage, but quickly exceeding this space by moving into a time and place that could only be cinematic, only to return to shots of an applauding audience and the fall of a curtain. As choreographer, Berkeley was allowed a certain degree of independence in his direction of musical numbers, and they were often markedly distinct from (and sometimes in contrast to) the narrative sections of the films. The numbers he choreographed were mostly upbeat and focused on decoration as opposed to substance; (read more) (images via jeffreysward / dvdbeaver / tr10023 / pinterest)

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