Busby Berkeley

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Busby Berkeley
Busby Berkeley William Enos
BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
film director, choreographer

Berkeley, Busby

(bŭz`bē bûr`klē), 1895–1975, American film director and choreographer, b. Los Angeles as William Berkeley Enos. Self-taught, he choreographed several Broadway revues before moving (1930) to Hollywood, where he achieved his greatest successes at Warner Bros. (1933–39). Berkeley became famous for staging elaborate dance numbers in which lines of showgirls performed synchronized movements which, photographed from innovative angles, particularly from above, created kaleidoscopic, often surreal patterns of moving figures. The height of his style was reached in the 1930s in such films as 42nd Street (1933), Dames (1934), and a series of Gold Diggers movies, for which he directed either the dance sequences or the entire production. Although his kind of spectacular became passé, he continued to direct other musicals during the 1940s, notably his first color movie, The Gang's All Here (1943); staged musical numbers for a few films into the 1960s; and returned to Broadway to direct a revival of No, No Nanette (1970).


See T. Thomas and J. Terry, The Busby Berkeley Book (1973), M. Rubin, Showstoppers (1993).

Berkeley, Busby (b. William Berkeley Enos)

(1895–1976) choreographer, film director; born in Los Angeles. He went on the Broadway stage at age five, and by the 1920s was one of the top Broadway choreographers. In 1930 he went to Hollywood to choreograph Eddie Cantor films and Mary Pickford's musical, Kiki (1930). A long string of musicals followed that featured his innovative choreography and camera techniques. He later directed complete films, but without much success.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the Depression of the 1930s, their favourite form of escape was Busby Berkeley musicals.
Finally, Jessup the choreographer has to contend with what might be called the Busby Berkeley factor: Berkeley directed a 1943 movie version of the show - until he was fired midproduction when he couldn't get along with star Judy Garland.
1895: Busby Berkeley, choreographer and director who devised a style which revolutionised Hollywood musicals, was born.
The lyrics made me laugh and the neat choreography made me smile, stuffed full as it is with hat-tipping, strutting, Country-style moves as imagined, I'd imagine, by Busby Berkeley.
The best way I could describe it would be Busby Berkeley on acid.
While ``Great Ziegfeld'' boasts some nice, if stagy, production numbers, how did the academy ever come to choose that one to represent '30s Hollywood musicals for the ages, when Busby Berkeley was choreographing and Fred and Ginger were dancing up so many immortal storms?
I thought it was funny and beautiful and delightful; it reminded me of the Busby Berkeley movies that I'd been watching.
And in one astonishing sequence, the Coens evoke Busby Berkeley, ``Triumph of the Will,'' ``The Wizard of Oz'' and ``Birth of a Nation'' all at the same time.
There are also fabulous ensemble sequence routines, most notably one with cars as the toys attempt to reach Al's Toy Barn, which are so complex they resemble a cross between a Busby Berkeley musical and a Red Arrows display.
Since Selma can't see, Kathy describes the action and, in one poignant scene, dances her fingers across Selma's palm to approximate the movement of a Busby Berkeley dance routine.
The hall of fame includes a wide range of dance notables from Busby Berkeley, Jerome Robbins, and Paul Taylor to Edwin Denby, Isadora Duncan, and the Nicholas Brothers.
The sequence was choreographed by none other than Busby Berkeley himself and utilizes the terrific flexibility and dance talents of Ray Bolger.