This evening I stumbled upon some lovely images from years gone by.
Capturing the essence of a dancer is never easy, and capturing Gene Kelly must have been quite a job. A LIFE photographer did it here, though.
“Gjon Mili,” LIFE noted, “who would rather photograph dancing than almost anything else in the world, recently trained his high-speed camera on the nimble feet and lithe body of MGM’s brilliant dancing star Gene Kelly.” What’s wonderful about Mili’s work in these pictures—made, it’s worth stressing, seven decades ago—is the technical brilliance and economy that he brings to bear on Kelly’s explosive artistry.
Another transporting series of photographs from long ago and also far away — is this set of scenes from Jackie Kennedy’s visit to India in March of 1962 taken by Art Rickety for LIFE magazine. What a wonderful smile she had! Her timeless sense of style is evident: the pearls, simply elegant dresses, and grace.
LIFE photographer JR Eyerman photographed a 22-year-old not-yet-famous Marilyn Monroe hard at work taking dancing, singing, and acting lessons from various teachers in Hollywood in 1949. One can capture a glimpse of her charisma but also a very clear sense of her vulnerability in these photos.
Here is another set of Marilyn Monroe photographs that were never published in LIFE magazine. They were taken by Ed Clark in LA’s Griffith Park in 1950 before MM became a huge star. I’ve never seen any of these images before.