Here's the dancing mermaids routine from #MissFisher Episode 1: Death Defying Feats, re-cut as a complete sequence. International fans, here is a little taste of what you can expect from the first Ep of Series 3 (without giving too much away of course..)
Posted by Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries on Wednesday, 13 May 2015
During World War I, Berkeley served as a field artillery lieutenant. Watching soldiers drill may have inspired his later complex choreography. During the 1920s, Berkeley was a dance director for nearly two dozen Broadway musicals, including such hits as A Connecticut Yankee. As a choreographer, Berkeley was less concerned with the terpsichorean skill of his chorus girls as he was with their ability to form themselves into attractive geometric patterns. His musical numbers were among the largest and best-regimented on Broadway.
|The "By A Waterfall" production number from Footlight Parade (1933) made use of one of the largest soundstages ever built, constructed especially by Warner Bros. to film Berkeley's creations.|
|A typical Busby Berkeley geometrical arrangement of dancers, from Dames (1934).|
As the outsized musicals in which Berkeley specialized became passé, he turned to straight directing. The result was 1939's They Made Me a Criminal, one of John Garfield's best films. Berkeley had several well-publicized run-ins with MGM stars such as Judy Garland. In 1943, he was removed as director of Girl Crazy because of disagreements with Garland, although the lavish musical number "I Got Rhythm", which he directed, remained in the picture.
His next stop was at 20th Century-Fox for 1943's The Gang's All Here, in which Berkeley choreographed Carmen Miranda's "Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat" number. The film made money, but Berkeley and the Fox brass disagreed over budget matters. Berkeley returned to MGM in the late 1940s, where among many other accomplishments he conceived the Technicolor finales for the studio's Esther Williams films. Berkeley's final film as choreographer was MGM's Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962).
In the late 1960s, the camp craze brought the Berkeley musicals back to the forefront. He toured the college and lecture circuit, and even directed a 1930s-style cold medication commercial, complete with a top shot of a dancing clock. In his 75th year, Berkeley returned to Broadway to direct a successful revival of No No Nanette starring his old Warner Brothers colleague and "42nd Street" star Ruby Keeler; both also played cameos in the 1970 film The Phynx the same year.
Berkeley was inducted into the National Museum of Dance's Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame in 1988.
Berkeley was married six times and was survived by his wife Etta Dunn. He was also involved in an alienation of affections lawsuit in 1938 involving Carole Landis. In September 1935, Berkeley was the driver responsible for an automobile accident in which two people were killed, five seriously injured; Berkeley himself was badly cut and bruised. Berkeley, brought to court on a stretcher, heard testimony that Time magazine said made him wince:
'Witnesses testified that motorist Berkeley sped down Roosevelt Highway in Los Angeles County one night, changed lanes, crashing headlong into one car, sideswiped another. Some witnesses said they smelled liquor on him'.
After the first two trials for second degree murder ended with hung juries, he was acquitted in a third trial.
Berkeley died on March 14, 1976 in Palm Springs, California at the age of 80 from natural causes. He is buried in the Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.