Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dancers: The Nicholas Brothers.

The Nicholas Brothers were an amazing dancing team, Fayard (1914–2006) and Harold Nicholas (1921–2000). With their acrobatic technique ("flash dancing"), they were considered by many as the greatest tap dancers of their era. Growing up around Vaudeville acts as children, they became stars of the jazz circuit during the heyday of the Harlem Renaissance and went on to have successful careers performing on stage, film, and television well into the 1990s. Nicholas Brothers dance routine from the film, Stormy Weather.

List of Films:

Botta e Riposta; 1951, Italian.(Louis Armstrong, Nicholas Brothers, Jack Teagarden, Earl Hines)

The Pirate; 1948, MGM. (Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, Nicholas Brothers)

Dixieland Jamboree; 1946, Vitaphone short subject. (Cab Calloway, Adelaide Hall, Nicholas Brothers)

*Carolina Blues; 1944, Columbia. (Ann Miller, Kay Kyser, Victor Moore, Harold Nicholas, Four Step Brothers.)

*The Reckless Age; 1944, Universal. (Gloria Jean, Henry Stephenson, Harold Nicholas, Delta Rhythm Boys.)

Take It or Leave It; 1944, Twentieth Century Fox. (Phil Baker, Phil Silvers, Buster Keaton, Nicholas Brothers.)

Stormy Weather; 1943

Orchestra Wives; 1942, Twentieth Century Fox. (George Montgomery, Glenn Miller, Jackie Gleason, Cesar Romero, Nicholas Brothers.)

Sun Valley Serenade; 1941, Twentieth Century Fox. Sonja Henie, John Payne, Glenn Miller, Milton Berle, Nicholas Brothers, Dorothy Dandridge, Nicholas Brothers.)

The Great American Broadcast; 1941, Twentieth Century Fox. Alice Faye, John Payne, Jack Oakie, Nicholas Brothers, Ink Spots.)

Tin Pan Alley; 1940, Twentieth Century Fox. (Alice Faye, Betty Grable, Don Ameche, Carmen Miranda, Nicholas Brothers)

Down Argentine Way; 1940, Twentieth Century Fox. (Betty Grable, Don Ameche, Carmen Miranda, Nicholas Brothers.)

Calling All Stars; 1937, British Lion. (Larry Adler, Ambrose & His Orchestra, Elisabeth Welch, Buck & Bubbles, Nicholas Brothers.)

My American Wife; 1936 MGM. (Francis Lederer, Ann Sothern, Billie Burke, Nicholas Brothers.)

The Black Network; 1936, Vitaphone short subject. (Nina Mae McKinney, Nicholas Brothers, Amanda Randolph.)

Coronado; 1936, MGM. (Eddie Cuchin & His Orchestra, Jack Haley, Andy Devine, Leon Errol, Nicholas Brothers.)

The Big Broadcast of 1936; 1935, Paramount. (Bing Crosby, Burns & Allen, Cab Calloway, Jackie Oakie, Nicholas Brothers, et al.)

The All-Colored Vaudeville Show; 1935, Vitaphone short subject. (Adelaide Hall, Nicholas Brothers.)

Kid Millions; 1934, Samuel Goldwyn. (Eddie Cantor, George Murphy, Ann Sothern, Ethel Merman, Nicholas Brothers.)

*Syncopancy; 1933, Max Fleisher / Paramount short subject. (Stoopnagie & Bud, Harold Nicholas)

*The Emperor Jones; 1933, United Artists. (Paul Roberson, Fredi Washington, Dudley Digges, Harold Nicholas.)

Pie, Pie Blackbird; 1932, Vitaphone short subject. (Eubie Blake & his band, Nina May McKinney, Nicholas Brothers.)


  1. The Nicholas Brothers did not seem to concentrate on any one body part when they danced; their movements were enthusiastically full-bodied.

    I'm so glad that their style of dance is preserved onscreen.

  2. Java Bean Rush, I was surprised at how many movies they performed in.