The 1943 film “Stormy Weather” is considered one of the best Hollywood musicals staring a Black cast.
The film is based upon the life and times of its star, dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. Robinson plays “Bill Williamson”, a talented born dancer who returns home in 1918 after serving in World War I and tries to pursue a career as a performer. The feature co-stars Lena Horne, Cab Calloway and Fats Waller (both appearing as themselves), the Nicholas Brothers dancing duo, comedian F. E. Miller, singer Ada Brown, and Katherine Dunham with her dance troupe, per Wiki.
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As noted by apost.com, one of the more memorable scenes in the film is the dance sequence featuring Harold and Fayard Nicholas. According to the report, the bothers performed the entire scene in one take without previous rehearsal. Fred Astaire once described it as the greatest dance number ever captured on film, per The New York Times.
Here’s more from apost.com:
In the scene, Harold and Fayard Nicholas dance to Cab Calloway’s Jumpin’ Jive. The musicians are playing the lively music that was popular at the time. In the middle of the song, the two brothers jump forth and begin dancing in time to the music, joining the lively rhythm and complementing each other’s movements perfectly as if they have done this a thousand times.
Their dance is a perfect dialogue between the two of them and their movements meet at regular intervals to become a single dance. Then they acrobatically jump on the musician’s tables together, perfectly switching between the surfaces.
They even go on stage together to perform a duo that is truly impressive with their uncommon twists, turns, and movements of hands.
You can watch the amazing performance in the video above.