CHOREOGRAPHY: BOB FOSSE AND GENE KELLY How two men influenced stage and film musicals, and today’s pop culture Gene Kelly Dancer, actor, choreographer, director Born 1912 Died 1996 Parents made sure all 5 Kelly children had dancing, art, and music lessons out side of school. Often made fun of by classmates because he took dance. Gene Kelly Involved in all areas of high school Graduated high school at 16 Attended Penn State College in 1929 Great Depression- part time jobs gas station, tire roller, dance instructor Transferred to Unvi of Pittsburg; majored in econ GENE KELLY • 1931- Harriet Kelly opens dance school with Gene has head instructor • Viewed teaching as temporary, wanted to go to law school • Only lasted 3 months in law school at Unvi of Pittsburg • Dance school expanded to 2 locations • Moved to New York Gene KellyBroadway Age 26- 1st job as chorus boy 1st big break- Harry the Hoofer in the play “The Time of Your Life” Quoted as saying “I realized that there was no character—whether a sailor or a truck driver or a gangster—that couldn’t be interpreted through dancing, if one found the correct choreographic language.” Pal Joey- role on stage earned him a film contract • Gene Kelly Pal Joey Gene Kelly and Film Film contract prohibited him from joining military Loaned out to MGM for “For Me and My Gal” with Judy Garland MGM bought contract Other big movies “Cover Girl” (mentioned in Follies, and “Anchors Away” • For Me and My Gal • Gene and Jerry Gene Kelly American in Paris and Singin’ in the Rain American in Paris- shot in Hollywood Brought more honor and money to MGM and Kelly than any other movie before or since 1st musical to win Oscar for Best Picture 7 other Oscars Kelly Oscar for his “extreme versatility as an actor, singer, director, and dancer. • I Got Rythem • An American in Paris Trailor Gene Kelly American in Paris and Singin’ in the Rain Final film in Kelly’s great trilogy On the Town, An American in Paris, Singin’ in the Rain 1952 • Switch-a-Roo • Singin in the Rain • Make 'Em Laugh • Broadway Melody Based on songs by Arthur Freed Look back of the development of movies Near perfect film Appears on several best movie lists 1 of 25 films on the Library of Congress National Film Registry. Bob Fosse Director and Choreographer Changed stage, film dance and still influences dance today Provocative, entertaining, and never seen before Like Gene Kelly he changed how dance was seen on screen 2D vs 3D Robert Louis Fosse, Chicago 1927 Bob Fosse Like Kelly big family youngest of 6 private lessons child prodigy Dancing professionally in night clubs and vaudeville and burlequse in high school Atmophere influenced later adult work Dark Themes Navy Bob Fosse After Navy was married 2X in 7 years Minor chorus parts dancing Big Break- MGM film “Kiss me Kate” Big Break Broadway- The Pajama Game Over night success because of dancing pelvic thrusts hunched shoulders pigeon toed feet mime like hand gestures 1st of many Tony Awards • Kiss Me Kate • Steam Heat Pajama Game Bob Fosse • Big Spender • Pippin Performance Tonys • Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag Directors where scared of provocative moves 60’s-70’s called for a return to innocence Sweet Charity Cabaret Pippin- highest earning Broadway show Bob Fosse and today’s Music • Mexican Breakfast/Single Ladies • Rich Man's Frug • Get Me Bodied Mexican Breakfast/Single Ladies Rich Man’s Frug/Get Me Bodied Take Off with Us/Cold Hearted Snake Take Off with Us Cold Hearted Snake WHAT MADE THEIR DANCING SO DIFFERENT? Kelly and Fosse almost lead parallel lives. Private lessons, child prodigies, performed professionally in high school in clubs and vaudeville, served in the military, married multiple times, worked for other film and the stage. Why are their styles of dancing so different? Defend your answer.