Home » Gene Kelly’s legendary 1960s Paris Opera ballet is now a stunning new film

Gene Kelly’s legendary 1960s Paris Opera ballet is now a stunning new film

by Stewart Cole

Star, A celebratory review of the choreographic work of the great American actor / dancer Gene Kelly as an amazing new feature film, is released worldwide this week. In 1960, Gene Kelly was invited to create an original work for him Paris Opera Ballet. This was the first order for an original work by an American at the famous French Institute of Arts. Jazz, its happy No gods starring France’s top ballerina, Claude Bessy, was widely acclaimed. After his success, Gene Kelly received the famous title, Knight of the Legion of Honor, by the French government, but ballet has rarely been performed since. This is undoubtedly the reason why most modern audiences are unaware that Gene Kelly created a ballet for a stage.

Thanks to a chance meeting between Christopher Hampson, its artistic director Scottish Ballet and Patricia Ward Kelly, widow of Gene Kelly, ballet has been reproduced and filmed as Astral for the arts flow service Marquee TV. The ballet was performed by the Scottish Ballet to a live audience this fall and this week Astral the film received its world premiere.

Astral Inspired by Kelly’s legendary work in Hollywood, and in this thrilling, theatrical experience, audiences around the world can escape the charm and grace of 1960s France from the comfort of their own home. Set in the captivating Gershwin Concerto in F., with excerpts from Chopin, Astral offers a refreshing night of entertainment, ideal for these disturbing moments.

Kelly’s pioneering choreography and popular style have influenced a generation of directors and dancers in Hollywood, Broadway and beyond. In collaboration with Kelly’s widow, Patricia Ward Kelly, CEO / Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet Christopher Hampson and designer Lez Brotherston (The snow Queen, The Secret Theater) carefully revived the original ballet and added an enjoyable new twist. Directed by Oscar Sansom (Scuba diving), in collaboration with the Forest of Black (The Secret Theater), Starstruck captures the live performance of the Scottish Ballet, using cinematic techniques inspired by the golden age of Hollywood. The film also includes additional scenes that have not been seen in the stage production.

Jean Kelly No gods, its base Star, tells the story of the gods Aphrodite and Eros, who after descending to earth and landing on a beach in sunny southern France, seduce a lifeguard and his fiancée. Couples enjoy their new love until Aphrodite Zeus’ husband arrives to win back his moody wife and everything returns to normal. This narrative was simple enough to follow, but as there is no cinematic material No Gods, Christopher Hampson and Patricia Ward Kelly painstakingly reconstructed the ballet, deciphering Kelly’s commentary on George Gershwin’s score, and sifting through hundreds of old rehearsal photographs. The result of their efforts is a beautiful, energetic, fun piece, a wonderful combination of jazz and classical ballet and a great tribute to the original work of Gene Kelly.

Starstruck is presented by Marquee TV in collaboration with Scottish Ballet and is available to watch from 26 November to 5 December 2021 via Marquee TV: www.marquee.tv

From December 17, the film can be shown as part of a Marquee TV subscription (99 8.99 / month or, 62.99 per year).

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