The Power of Pretty: Cyd Charisse
Legs. I’m a leg kind of guy.
I love legs. Probably why I love hosiery. It’s like dressing the legs
. As if they’re veiled as a gift. To be shared a little later.
Leg positioning…how the slightest t
urn of an ankle can change the entire course of the conversation, is just one of my obsessions. Ask any of my staff. It’s all about leg positioning when we take photos. In fact, just before our prom photo I quickly positioned my date’s legs. They still look great.
Few have been celebrated for her legs like Cyd Charisse. The power of a dancer, the power of beauty of form and shape are abundantly given in the big screen when Miss Charisse saunters into the scene.
One of my favorite clips is from the movie “Silk Stockings.” The dance number where she sheds off the drudgery and dreariness of black tights and slips into fe
atherweight nude silk nylons and dances. It makes my heart race. Unfortunately the scene on youtube is unavailable with its original
sound. You have to hear the music for the magic to move you.
In my next book (perpetually in progress) I have a whole section devoted to leg positioning (and knowing YOUR ideal stance). It has, so far, been the most fun to write.
LOVE this clip with Sammy Davis singing “Frankie and Johnie,” from “Meet Me in Las Vegas.” (1956). Can you even attempt to take your eyes off the legs. One favorite moment after another (I love the leg angle when she pushes his derriere down at 6:50), a cat fight (who doesn’t love that?) and amazing acrobatics that are captured with one camera, in one shot. You won’t see that again. But to watch this art, and this power, and this very very lovely dancer. Heaven.
I could watch this scene from “The Band Wagon” a million times. It’s better than valium. How many equisite diagonal lines of shoulder, leg and arm can you squeeze melodiously into seamless movement? A white blouse with rolled up sleeves, a mid-calf pleated skirt and flats. What woman wouldn’t want to feel so simply and fluidly beautiful?