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movies - wander_free

Dec. 26th, 2009 08:59 pm movies

I love musicals. Everything from Singing in the Rain and Caberet to more modern Mamma Mia and Moulin Rouge. I'm a sap and it doesn't really get much sappier than musicals, where everything can be solved via a dance scene.

I have to say, two of my all time favorite dance 'scenes' are both Gene Kelly, the first in An American in Paris and the second in Anchors Away. Both of them involve Kelly, an accomplished dancer, toning it down to dance with partners who might be considered 'lesser' than he for various reasons. Instead of overwhelming them and making them nothing but objects, they are integral parts of the dance and something about that, the gentleness and grace, appeals to me. Like I said, I'm a sap.

The first is from An American in Paris where Kelly dances with an old woman. They had been doing a humorous 'walzes by Strauss' number that segues into a very gentle but playful waltz and then folk dance with a fragile older woman who looks like she was born well before the turn of the century. There is something very respectful and even admiring about the way he holds her and dances, like he is thrilled that she consented to dance with him.

The second is from Anchors Away (currently on the machine, hence this post) where Kelly dances with a tiny little girl who can't be more than 8...maybe. She might be 6, that's how tiny she is. As with the old woman, there is something protective and kind about the way he focuses on her and dances with her, like she is the one he would have chosen if given a chance.

I'm a sucker for people who aren't afraid to shelve their own egos and cater to the needs of others, whether it's as simply as letting the women in the dances have the spotlight or in real life, when people sit and listen when they would be happier doing the talking.

I also love the scenes in Mamma Mia, the huge group performances, Dancing Queen and later when all the bachelors are doing their little ditty on the pier, doing a chorus line and standing on their hands and stuff. I know they are actors and I know it's not real, but I love the energy and the playfulness of those scenes, the idea that they are having as much fun doing it as we are watching it.

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