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THE WHITE PIANO

The Grand Piano Ballet

Corridor of white grand pianos from Busby Berkeley's 'Gold Diggers of 1935'.
Over 50 pianos dance at the deft hand of Berkeley. 1

Known for his elaborate production numbers, (“Busby”) Berkeley William Enos was given carte blanche by Warner Brothers to delight audiences with the magnitude of his visions. In America, moviegoers would wait in anticipation for the story to take a backseat while the extravagant fantasies took over the senses.

Unfortunately, even Hitler was among those influenced by Berkeley’s style, instructing Joseph Goebbels & Leni Riefenstahl to adopt its usage for their wartime propaganda.

In Gold Diggers of 1935, a group of 54 white grand pianos took center stage for the melody of ‘The Words Are In My Heart:’

The rotating baby grand pianos were actually made of hollow and easily moveable plywood, placed on casters, and with a man draped in black beneath each one to conceal him from the camera as they swirled about the glossy poured glass floor.
From The Hollywood Art — Busby Berkeley 2
YouTube Placeholder Image for QHMbSTWJvZM
Dancing Pianos from Gold Diggers of 1935. 3
...the creative impetus for the scene lived for years in his head before it danced on screen. As Berkeley recalled, "one day in New York I was watching an act at the Palace with four men playing grand pianos. I thought to myself then, 'someday I'll do that with fifty pianos,' and when it came time to think of something for this song, the thought came to mind.
Gold Diggers of 1935 from TCM-Turner Classic Movies 4
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Page Sources

PAGE SOURCES
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[1]
Under License, Getty Images ®.
[2]
Zegarac, Nick.  The Hollywood Art – Busby Berkeley.  Nick Zegarac, 29 June 2013” pg. 9.  SlideShare.  Web.  28 Dec. 2015.
[3]
Smit, Theo.  "Dancing Pianos."  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 16 Dec. 2013.  Web.  26 Sept. 2015.  Standard YouTube License.
[4]
"Gold Diggers of 1935."  TCM.  Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc., n.d.  Web.  21 Aug. 2015.