Kelly Forges New Directions in Cinematic Dance (Great Events from History II: Arts and Culture Series)
Article abstract: During the heyday of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musical, Gene Kelly developed an eclectic style of cinematic dance drawing on ballet, tap, and folk elements.
Summary of Event
In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, the American musical film reached its apex of creative and popular success in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) releases starring the exuberant Gene Kelly. Although best known to the public for his screen persona as a genial yet rugged individual whose characters’ romantic and artistic quests were expressed in muscular yet lyrical dances, Kelly also made significant contributions, as a choreographer and director, to the development of the musical.
Kelly’s filmography is impressive. From his first film for MGM, For Me and My Gal (1942), to That’s Entertainment (1974) and That’s Entertainment, Part 2 (1976), Kelly’s credits for that studio include such glittering classics as Anchors Aweigh (1945), Ziegfeld Follies (1946), The Pirate (1948), On the Town (1949), An American in Paris (1951), Singin’ in the Rain (1952), Brigadoon (1954), It’s Always Fair Weather (1955), and Invitation to the Dance (1957).
Kelly’s specific contributions fall into two broad realms, conceptual and practical. First is the career-long concern with working out a theoretical...
(The entire section is 2260 words.)
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