When you see dancers show off their moves at dancing competitions and on popular TV shows today, you know that these dancers have understandably spent many long hours practicing their routine before having the confidence to show off their moves. However, one of the most celebrated and iconic dance scenes captured on film was surprisingly not rehearsed at all.
Stormy Weather, a 1943 film starring Bill Robinson and Lena Home, was popular at the time and still retains some popularity in the classic movie world. One of the most notable features about the movie had nothing to do with its two main stars.
A scene features brothers Harold and Favard Nicholas frolicking and kicking up their heels to Jumpin’ Jive, a period hit by Cab Calloway. The cameraman thankfully was shooting footage when these two brothers started their acrobatic and absolutely stunning routine.
Notably, the scene shown in the film was recorded on the first take, and the choreography was not rehearsed at all. In the scene, you see two brothers who clearly share a strong bond and a love of dance happily showing off their skills.
Their unrehearsed scene in the movie has received several nods of recognition. For example, legendary dancer Fred Astaire said it was the best dancing on film that he had seen. In addition, the movie has been listed on the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
If you have not yet seen these brothers in action, prepare yourself to be impressed by the footage here. Their skills are just as awe-inspiring seven decades after the film was released as they were when the brothers originally performed the dance decades ago.