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Talk/ The Fabulous Nicholas Brothers

Bruce Goldstein presents a unique compilation tribute to the Nicholas Brothers, featuring a collage of rarely seen home movies, photographs and film clips.

The Fabulous Nicholas Brothers, Fayard (1914-2006) and Harold (1921-2000), rank among the greatest dancers of the 20th century. Despite racial hurdles, the self-taught African-American entertainers became one of the biggest musical acts of their time, headlining on Broadway, radio and television and in vaudeville and nightclubs. Their dazzling, show-stopping numbers in movies such as Down Argentine WaySun Valley Serenade and Stormy Weather made them international icons.

Known for effortless balletic moves, elegant tap dancing and perfect rhythms – along with a consummate grace and sly sense of humour – the Olympian brothers are in the end impossible to categorise. The dancer’s dancers, their fans have included Gene Kelly, who teamed up with them in The Pirate; Bob Fosse and Gregory Hines, whose first acts were modelled on them; ballet legends George Balanchine and Mikhail Baryshnikov; Michael Jackson, who once had Fayard as a dance coach; and Fred Astaire, who named their Stormy Weather ‘staircase’ number the greatest of all musical sequences.

Bruce Goldstein is Director of Repertory Programming at Film Forum in New York – a legendary cinema programmer, writer and co-producer of a 1991 documentary on the brothers.

We will be screening Stormy Weather in our classics slot on Sun 23, Tue 25 and Wed 26 Oct.

Part of the BFI Black Star season, taking place UK-wide, supported by Film Hub North West Central, part of the Film Audience Network, awarding funds from the National Lottery.

bfi.org.uk/blackstar