Astaire Unwound (Ceiling Dance from “Royal Wedding”)

My high school physics teacher, Admiral Peebles, showed us episodes of this nerdy, awesome science video, which demonstrated what various common motions (a falling ball, a rolling ball) look like from fixed and moving frames of reference.

The 1969 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey featured a huge rotating set, a realistic representation of artificial gravity in the interior of a space ship. I pored over stills from this scene a few years before I actually saw the movie.


Though the slogan and jingle now strike me as meh, I remember the wonderful choreography of the Dr. Pepper “dancing up the walls,” commercial from the early 80s.

As a kid I knew the Fred Astaire reference — I must have caught the movie while changing channels, or I saw it enough time in documentaries that I recognized it, though I’ve still never seen the whole movie in which this dance features.

I was delighted when I came across “Astaire Unwound,” which recreates the sequence as it might have appeared to a stationary camera.

And then of course there is the same technology applied to the iconic “shaky camera” Star Trek moments.




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