Fred Astaire plots out new routines at his in-laws’ home in Aiken, S.C. by George Karger for LIFE, December 1940.
George Karger, who has photographed enough dancers to qualify as an expert, came back from South Carolina with the report that he had found the world’s most perfect material for dance pictures. In the first place, Astaire’s every motion is so graceful that it is impossible to photograph him in an awkward position. In the second, due to Astaire’s movie training, the camera never caught him with an arm in front of his face. “With some dancers you have to wait for hours,” he said, “but with Astaire, every motion made a picture.”