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Nicholas Brothers
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Dance Troupe
    Born in United States
    Harold Nicholas (March 17 1921-July 3, 2000, heart attack)
    Fayard Nicholas (October 20, 1914-January 14, 2006, pneumonia)
    Both raised in Philadelphia
    Specialists in flash dancing (acrobatics)
    Film credits include ‘Down Argentine Way (1940),’ ‘Tin Pan Alley (1940),’ ‘Stormy Weather (1943)’ and ‘That’s Entertainment (archival, 1974)’
    They were born in different states (Harold in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Fayard in Mobile, Alabama).
    On Fayard’s insistence, Harold was named for a silent screen comic.
    They were not formally trained.
    Having become the star attraction at the Cotton Club (1932), no other black members were allowed to mix with the white customers.
    They appeared to achieve instant stardom.
    Fayard did not have a high opinion of improvised dancing.
    Their signature style included leapfrogging and landing with their legs wide apart — sometimes over each other on a stairway.
    They taught dance at Harvard, where Michael and Janet Jackson and Debbie Allen were students.
    They were featured in Janet Jackson’s clip shoot for ‘Alright,’ which featured a setting not unlike their heyday.
    Harold appeared in ‘Tap (1988)’ in a challenge scene along with several other dance legends.
    They were active well into the 1990s.
    Fayard’s granddaughters (the Nicholas Sisters) went on to uphold the dance tradition.

Credit: Cool It All Right?


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