As you may know--especially if you read my post about attending last month's screening of Singin' in the Rain--Gene Kelly is one of my most favorite people no longer on the planet.
After Brigadoon, I had to see every Gene Kelly movie I could find and read all about him. He's a really important figure in dance and film history, having invented a whole new dance style and making it accessible to everyone. But I never really thought of Gene that way: In my eyes, he was confident and handsome and romantic and smart and funny--and he danced on air!
While pondering this question, I watched "So You Think You Can Dance," my summertime obsession! The weekly dance competition, which is working its way toward finding America's Two Favorite Dancers (one guy and one girl), is down to its Top 10 contestants. This week, the group opened the show with a Gene Kelly tribute choreographed by Tyce Diorio. The dance, a kaleidoscope of Gene's famous dances and movie moments, began with the camera focused on Cyrus (my Favorite Guy) snapping a film clapperboard with Gene Kelly's name written on it. I gasped at the sight of it and beamed smiles as I recognized each familiar character and move.
But what really sends me over the moon is the dancing. Gene shared pure joy with every step.
So, here's to a year of Gene Kelly celebration! I haven't yet figured out a schedule, what I'll call it, or what I'll draw, but The Kitties are already in rehearsal and auditioning for the starring role of our tribute. (Don't worry, I'll let you know when I figure out all the details.)
While The Kitties and I don't plan to feature his entire filmography, we will honor our favorite Gene Kelly dances from most of his musicals--with a few surprises thrown in as extra treats. I'll also be sure to include videos of each dance so that you can see the inspiration. May they give you the same glorious feeling I get every time I see them. It's kind of like this....
Our Gene Kelly Tribute is coming soon, so stay tuned.... In the meantime, don't forget to catch some of Gene's movies today on TCM. His wife, Patricia, is hanging out with host Robert Osborne this evening, starting at 8 p.m. Good movies, amazing songs and dances, and trivia--Talk about treats!
Image copyright credits: Brigadoon: MGM; Xanadu: Universal Pictures; Gene Kelly still: unknown; Singin' in the Rain: MGM.