I’m Teaching a Class on Gene Kelly

I’m Teaching a Class on Gene Kelly

This summer, I’m teaching a class on Gene Kelly. Held at Facets Film School in Chicago, my six-week class on Kelly and the evolution of cine-dance begins July 16 and concludes August 20.

Listed below are the six films we’ll screen and discuss as well as the course description and registration/payment information. Hope to see you there, Chicagoans!

Gene Kelly and the Evolution of Cine-Dance

Tuesdays  |  July 16–August 20  |  7–10 pm

  • Anchors Aweigh (George Sidney, 1945)
  • The Pirate (Vincente Minnelli, 1948)
  • On The Town (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, 1949)
  • An American in Paris (Vincente Minnelli, 1951)
  • Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, 1952)
  • It’s Always Fair Weather (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, 1955)

In an essay for Sound Stage (1965), Hollywood song-and-dance man Gene Kelly confesses to his readers that dancing, because it is “a three-dimensional art-like sculpture,” is actually not a good medium for motion pictures. In fact, the star continues, when such bodily movement is transferred to screen, most of the physical force is lost. Also missing is what Kelly calls “the personality of the dancer’s whole body, which coupled with line and style, form the basis of a dance performance.” For these reasons (and others we’ll explore), Gene Kelly along with his frequent co-director Stanley Donen, worked arduously to modify the way dance numbers were shot onscreen. Indeed, via special effects (Anchors Aweigh), vigorous camera movement, on-location shooting (On the Town), and even through the burden of Cinemascope (It’s Always Fair Weather), Kelly and Donen created and perfected something called cine-dance, or “any dancing choreographed specifically and particularly to be filmed or televised.” This class will consider the concept of cine-dance and its evolution over a decade in six films starring and/or (co-)directed by Gene Kelly.

Film School Registration: $80 MEMBERS, $125 NON-MEMBERS. To register by phone, call 1-800-331-6197