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  • Fred Astaire

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    Fred Astaire (born Frederick Austerlitz; May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987) was an American dancer, singer, actor, choreographer and television presenter. He is widely regarded as the most influential dancer in the history of film. His stage and subsequent film and television careers spanned a total of 76 years, during which he starred in more than 10 Broadway and London musicals, made 31 musical films, 4 television specials, and issued numerous recordings. As a dancer, he is best remembered for his uncanny sense of rhythm, his perfectionism, his innovation, and as the dancing partner and on-screen romantic interest of Ginger Rogers, with whom he co-starred in a series of ten Hollywood musicals. Astaire was named by the American Film Institute as the fifth greatest male star of Classic Hollywood cinema in 100 Years... 100 Stars. Gene Kelly, another renowned star of filmed dance, said that "the history of dance on film begins with Astaire." Later, he asserted that Astaire was "the only one of today's dancers who will be remembered." Beyond film and television, many dancers and choreographers, including Rudolf Nureyev, Sammy Davis Jr., Michael Jackson, Gregory Hines, Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Madhuri Dixit and Bob Fosse, who called Astaire his "idol", also acknowledged his influence.

  • Figure skating

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    Figure skating is a sport in which individuals, duos, or groups perform on figure skates on ice. It was the first winter sport included in the Olympics, in 1908. The four Olympic disciplines are men's singles, ladies' singles, pair skating, and ice dance. Non-Olympic disciplines include synchronized skating, Theater on Ice, and four skating. From novice through senior-level competition, skaters generally perform two programs (short and free skating) which, depending on the discipline, may include spins, jumps, moves in the field, lifts, throw jumps, death spirals, and other elements or moves. The blade has a groove on the bottom creating two distinct edges: inside and outside. Judges prefer that skaters glide on one edge of the blade and not on both at the same time, which is referred to as a flat edge. During a spin, skaters use the "sweet spot" of the blade, formally called a rocker, which is the roundest portion of the blade, just behind the pick and near the middle of the blade. Skates used in single and pair skating have a set of large, jagged teeth called toe picks on the front of the blade. Toe picks are mainly used for the take-off on jumps. Ice dance blades are an inch shorter in the rear and have smaller toe picks. Figure skaters compete at various levels from beginner up to the Olympic level (senior) at local, regional, national, and international competitions. The International Skating Union (ISU) regulates international figure skating judging and competitions. These include the Winter Olympics, the World Championships, the World Junior Championships, the European Championships, the Four Continents Championships, the Grand Prix series (senior and junior), and the ISU Challenger Series. The sport is also associated with show business. Major competitions generally conclude with exhibition galas, in which the top skaters from each discipline perform non-competitive programs. Many skaters, both during and after their competitive careers, also skate in ice shows, which run during the competitive season and the off-season.

  • Graduation Ball

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    Graduation Ball is a ballet in one act choreographed by David Lichine to music composed by Johann Strauss II and arranged by Antal Doráti. With a scenario devised by Lichine and with scenery and costumes designed by Alexandre Benois, it was first presented by the Original Ballet Russe at the Theatre Royal, Sydney, Australia, on 1 March 1940. The ballet is set in a fashionable Viennese finishing school for girls during the 1840s. The headmistress has invited the cadets of the city's military academy to attend a ball celebrating the graduation of the senior class. The senior and junior girls have planned a series of divertissements as the evening's entertainment and are greatly excited by the event. Flirtations, exuberant dances, and a secret romance ensue.

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