Okay, now for #2. This post will, of course, reveal my preference between Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. I will explain my reasoning for my number 1 favorite in my next post. But, in the meantime, here is the very, very, very close second:
2. Gene Kelly
Favorite solo: "Singin' in the Rain" from, well, Singin' in the Rain. (Embedding was disabled)
But "You Wonderful You" from Summer Stock and "Tra-La-La" from An American in Paris are up there too. Sadly, "Tra-La-La" is no longer available on YouTube, much to my dismay. But here is "You Wonderful You" for your enjoyment. This song is a masterpiece, in my opinion. It's funny, clever, and tons of fun.
Favorite ever dance: I'll go with the "Broadway Melody" jazz duet with Cyd Charisse from Singin' in the Rain. Of course, this is subject to change. It often does. But I never can get enough of this dance. Unfortunately, the embedding is disabled on this one too.
Gene Kelly was brilliant. He danced, he choreographed, he directed. He was sexy and he knew how to show it (just watch the Talouse Lautrec portion of the "American in Paris Ballet"). His dancing had a sense of humor and a sense of fun. He could tap so lightly, one would think he was lighter than a feather - but then, when you see those muscular arms, you can imagine he wasn't quite feather-weight. His dancing was athletic and energetic. I've heard him referred to as a blue-collar type dancer, which makes sense. He plays sailors, soldiers, ordinary Joes more often than high class dappers. He was a dancer people could relate to, rather than dream of becoming. When he grabs Cyd Charisse in "Broadway Melody" and holds her in his arms, you can tell he's more than the glasses-donning hoofer at the beginning of the number. He has passion and intensity. I truly, truly love Gene Kelly. His numbers always make me smile. I would love to dance with him but I think I would be way too intimidated to move.