Happy Birthday Gene!
August 23, 2012 § 4 Comments
Though Gene would have considered 100 “just another round number” and would have “run for the hills” to avoid all of the hoopla, as we did, in his words, when he turned eighty back in 1992, I must say that I have been serially impressed by the many fine assessments of his career that have been written over the past few months and by the very moving and insightful commentary from those inspired and touched by his work. I have heard from people of all ages—young dancers just starting out and older folks who took class at The Gene Kelly Studio of the Dance in Pittsburgh. I have heard from people seeing Singin’ in the Rain on the big screen for the first time and from those who have lost count. I never tire of reading and hearing these personal accounts. I watched the taping of Jakob Karr performing a silhouette number on “So You Think You Can Dance” last night and could not stop thinking about Gene. The nuances of Jakob’s movement—the perfect balletic pointing of his toes, the graceful athleticism and his wit and charm reminded me of Gene in so many ways and so many numbers, including “Nina” in The Pirate. It was nice to see the resonance, but there was also a kind of bittersweet quality to it. As the number progressed, I kept wanting to turn to Gene to get his reaction. And that’s the way I feel much of the time. I wish he were here to share so many things. But since he isn’t, the next best thing is to be able to share so much with you. Thank you all for your graciousness and for your feelings of celebration on this day, August 23, 2012. I am most appreciative. Gene would be as well.