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Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire was an American dancer, actor and television presenter. He is considered the most influential dancer in the history of film, his stage and subsequent film and television careers spanned a total of 76 years. He starred in more than 10 Broadway and West End musicals, made 31 musical films, four television specials, issued numerous recordings; as a dancer, his most outstanding traits were his uncanny sense of rhythm, his perfectionism, his innovation. His most memorable dancing partnership was with Ginger Rogers, with whom he co-starred in a series of ten Hollywood musicals; the American Film Institute named Astaire the fifth greatest male star of Classic Hollywood cinema in 100 Years... 100 Stars. Gene Kelly, another renowned star of filmed dance, said that "the history of dance on film begins with Astaire." He asserted that Astaire was "the only one of today's dancers who will be remembered." Beyond film and television, many dancers and choreographers, including Rudolf Nureyev, Sammy Davis Jr. Michael Jackson, Gregory Hines, Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Madhuri Dixit, Bob Fosse, who called Astaire his "idol" acknowledged his influence.

Fred Astaire was born Frederick Austerlitz on May 10, 1899 in Omaha, the son of Johanna "Ann" and Frederic "Fritz" Austerlitz. Astaire's mother was born in the United States, to Lutheran German emigrants from East Prussia and Alsace. Astaire's father was born in Linz, Austria, to Jewish parents who had converted to Roman Catholicism. Astaire's father, "Fritz" Austerlitz, arrived in New York City at the age of 25 on October 26, 1893, at Ellis Island.'"Fritz" was hoping to find work in the brewing trade and moved to Omaha, where he landed a job with the Storz Brewing Company. Astaire's mother dreamed of escaping Omaha by her children's talents, after Astaire's sister, Adele Astaire, revealed herself to be an instinctive dancer and singer early on in her childhood. Johanna planned sister act", common in vaudeville at the time, for her two children. Although Fred refused dance lessons at first, he mimicked his older sister's steps and took up piano and clarinet; when their father lost his job, the family moved to New York City in January 1905 to launch the show business career of the children.

They began training at the Alviene Master School of the Academy of Cultural Arts. Fred and Adele's mother suggested they change their name to "Astaire," as she felt "Austerlitz" was reminiscent of the Battle of Austerlitz. Family legend attributes the name to an uncle surnamed "L'Astaire."They were taught dance and singing in preparation for developing an act. Their first act was called Juvenile Artists Presenting an Electric Musical Toe-Dancing Novelty. Fred wore a top hat and tails in a lobster outfit in the second. In an interview, Astaire's daughter, Ava Astaire McKenzie, observed that they put Fred in a top hat to make him look taller. In November 1905 the goofy act debuted in Keyport, New Jersey, in a "tryout theater." The local paper wrote, "the Astaires are the greatest child act in vaudeville."As a result of their father's salesmanship and Adele landed a major contract and played the famed Orpheum Circuit in the Midwest and some Southern cities in the United States. Soon Adele grew to at least three inches taller than Fred, the pair began to look incongruous.

The family decided to take a two-year break from show business to let time take its course and to avoid trouble from the Gerry Society and the child labor laws of the time. In 1912, Fred became an Episcopalian; the career of the Astaire siblings resumed with mixed fortunes, though with increasing skill and polish, as they began to incorporate tap dancing into their routines. Astaire's dancing was inspired by John "Bubbles" Sublett. From vaudeville dancer Aurelio Coccia, they learned the tango and other ballroom dances popularized by Vernon and Irene Castle; some sources state that the Astaire siblings appeared in a 1915 film titled Fanchon, the Cricket, starring Mary Pickford, but the Astaires have denied this. By age 14, Fred had taken on the musical responsibilities for their act, he first met George Gershwin, working as a song plugger for Jerome H. Remick's music publishing company, in 1916. Fred had been hunting for new music and dance ideas, their chance meeting was to affect the careers of both artists profoundly.

Astaire was always on the lookout for new steps on the circuit and was starting to demonstrate his ceaseless quest for novelty and perfection. The Astaires broke into Broadway in 1917 with Over the Top, a patriotic revue, performed for U. S. and Allied troops at this time as well. They followed up with several more shows. Of their work in The Passing Show of 1918, Heywood Broun wrote: "In an evening in which there was an abundance of good dancing, Fred Astaire stood out... He and his partner, Adele Astaire, made the show pause early in the evening with a beautiful loose-limbed dance."Adele's sparkle and humor drew much of the attention, owing in part to Fred's careful preparation and sharp supporting choreography. She still set the tone of their act, but by this time, Astaire's dancing skill was beginning to outshine his sister's. During the 1920s, Fred and Adele appeared on the London stage, they won popular acclaim with the theater crowd on both sides of the Atlantic in shows such as Jerome Kern's The Bunch and Judy and Ira Gershwin's Lady, Be Good, Funny Face and in The Band Wagon.

Astaire's tap dancing was recognized by as among t

Manon Balletti

Manon Balletti was the daughter of Italian actors performing in France and lover of the famous womanizer Giacomo Casanova. She was ten years old; the lovers started their relationship when Casanova was thirty-two years old and Manon was seventeen. She wrote forty-two letters full of deep feelings for him. Casanova's sexual passions caused him to be unfaithful, causing their three-year relationship to have numerous ups and downs, yet she continued to share his home, found in Rue du Petit-Lion-St. Sauveur. Manon was at the time engaged to her clavichord teacher, but broke it off at Casanova's request, thus starting a new engagement with him; this did not keep him from having various sexual relations with other women, yet Manon remained faithful to him. His memoirs record his regret for being unkind to her. Once Casanova was imprisoned. Manon sent a pair of diamond earrings. Subsequently she returned his portrait and letters. Manon married the architect Jacques-François Blondel a short while after, disappointing Casanova, who believed that he would one day be able to settle down with her.

Manon died at the age of 36, questionably from pulmonary hypertension. Casanova wrote in his memoirs. Giacomo Casanova Manon A Giacomo Casanova. Lettere d'amoreManon Balletti, Elisa von der Recke, 1997, Archinto, ISBN 9788877682116 Aldo Ravà, Lettere di donne a G. Casanova, Fratelli Treves, 1912. Giacomo Casanova Jacques Casanova de Seingalt - Histoire de ma vie. Texte intégral du manuscrit suivi de textes inédits. Édition présentée et établie par Francis Lacassin.. Ed. Robert Laffont. 1993. Vol. I p. Manon Balletti, l'amour inaccessible. Appendice p. 1099 L'acte de mariage de Manon Balletti Paris 29 juillet 1760. L'intermédiaire des casanovistes, editor Helmut Watzlawick, Genève, n° XI, 39,40. XII, 56. XIII, 48, 52, 59. XV, 79. XVI, 35. XVII, 27. XX 27, 46, 64. XXVII 34. Marco Leeflang, Manon rising star, L’intermédiaire des casanovistes, XXVII, Genève 2010, p. 34

United States Post Office (Far Rockaway, Queens)

US Post Office-Far Rockaway is a historic post office building located at Far Rockaway in Queens County, New York, United States. It was built in 1935, is one of six post offices in New York State designed by architect Eric Kebbon as a consultant to the Office of the Supervising Architect, it is a two-story brick building with limestone trim and a low granite base in the Colonial Revival style. Its main facade features a centrally placed polygonal shaped frontispiece with a rounded dome inspired by Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, it has a grand entrance vestibule. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Media related to United States Post Office at Wikimedia Commons