One of the rare classical Hollywood movies with an all-black cast, “Stormy Weather” is also the highest-profile film with a performance by East St. Louis’ dance legend Katherine Dunham and her troupe. Washington U.’s Joanna Dee Das recently released a lauded new book on the dancer, “Katherine Dunham: Dance and the African Diaspora,” and she’ll introduce and lead a post-screening discussion of the film, which features an astonishing array of African-American talent, including Lena Horne, Fats Waller, Cab Calloway, and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. Among “Stormy Weather’s” most famous performances is the Nicholas Brothers’ “Jumpin’ Jive,” which no less an authority than Fred Astaire called the greatest movie musical number he had ever seen. The film tells the story of struggling performer Bill Williamson (Robinson), who meets a beautiful vocalist named Selina Rogers (Horne). Bill promises her that they will be together after he becomes a success, but they lose contact after both rocket to fame.
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