Nicholas Brothers

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Nicholas Brothers,

African-American tap dance team consisting of Fayard Antonio Nicholas, 1914–2006, b. Mobile, Ala., and Harold Lloyd Nicholas, 1921–2000, b. Winston-Walem, N.C. Performing on stage and in films, they combined dance genres—tap, jazz, and ballet—in polished routines that spotlighted their elegantly sophisticated style, fine timing, complex step patterns, and superb athleticism—particularly their spectacular mid-air splits. Sons of vaudeville musicians, they made their debut in 1928 on their parents' show circuit. Four years later they opened at Harlem's Cotton Club and appeared in their first film short. In 1934 they danced in Kid Millions, the first of their many Hollywood movies, which also include The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1935), Down Argentine Way (1940), Sun Valley Serenade (1941), Stormy Weather (1943, in which they performed their famous "Jumpin' Jive" routine), and The Pirate (1948, their last movie together). The brothers also appeared in many stage productions, including Broadway's Ziegfield Follies (1936) and Babes in Arms (1937), and on television. Late in their careers, both brothers did solo work as dancers and in dramatic roles.


See C. V. Hill, Brotherhood In Rhythm: The Jazz Tap Dancing of the Nicholas Brothers (2000).

References in periodicals archive ?
Her most notable early role was in the 1941 musical "Sun Valley Serenade," where she danced alongside the black tap-dancing Nicholas brothers.
029 2063 6464 HOT FILM The Fabulous Nicholas Brothers Fayard and Harold rank among the greatest dancers of the 20th century.
She studied with Harold Nicholas of the iconic Nicholas Brothers and with renowned Broadway choreographer Charles Hughes.
the Nicholas Brothers tapping to Cab Galloway's big band in Stormy Weather (1943).
From Honi Coles and Bojangles to John Bubbles, the Nicholas Brothers, the Hines Brothers, and Sammy Davis Jr.
We had always liked old 40's movie musicals that showcased American vaudevillian performers, such as the tap dancers, the Nicholas Brothers and we also admired the work of friends of ours working in mime theatre.
O'Neill's collaborator correctly identified the dance number - the tap-dancing showmanship of the Nicholas Brothers from the 1943 African-American talent showcase "Stormy Weather" - based on O'Neill's description, and it has been an inspirational cornerstone since.
Most numbers are picked up free-style by the guys and Sumbry-Edwards (the first woman cast member in Savion Glover's "Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk") in the current, loose-limbed mode of tapping that harks back to Bill Robinson and the Nicholas Brothers.
Pearl Bailey, Diane Carroll, and the Nicholas Brothers.
Two old musicals of note were Vincent Minnelli's 1943 ``Cabin in the Sky'' with Ethel Waters, Lena Horne, Eddie ``Rochester'' Anderson and Louis Armstrong, and ``Stormy Weather,'' with Horne and Bill Robinson, with performances by Fats Waller, Cab Calloway and the dancing Nicholas Brothers.
We are often shocked to realize the lack of historical knowledge of tap in the United States, and by writing that Savion is "the greatest tap dancer that ever breathed," Rafferty is forgetting the Nicholas Brothers, Jimmy Slyde, Peg Leg Bates and Baby Laurence.