7 September 2001 | harry-76
Kelly's Dream Project
This is the result of many years of effort on the part of Gene Kelly to create an all-dance film. Since he was a major-studio rather than an indie production child, Kelly convinced his home studio, MGM, to finally take on the project.
The final results, unfortunately, are mixed. The movie is simply average, with long stretches of off-timed and miscalculated action and uninspired choreography. Were Kelly to have collaborated in the writing, choreographing and direction departments, rather than taking everything on himself, things might have gone better.
The project was simply too great a task for Kelly; with other imput he might have made a film with greater perspective and flair. The story in "Circus" is only fair, and there's more pantomime than dancing for Kelly as Pierrot. Unfortantely, Jacques Ibert's music doesn't help either.
"Ring Around the Rosy" suffers from disjointed continuity, with awkward bridges and motivations. Too, the fine Tamara Toumanova as the Streetwalker provides a clash of styles when paired with Kelly as the Marine. Physically, their types don't match well, try as they will. Nor was this Andre Previn's finest compositional hour.
Finally, Roger Eden's adaptation of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's score for "Sinbad the Sailor" makes for the most effective music in the film. Kelly at last gets to display his distinctive dancing manner, and does some impressive work (at age 44) in the interesting cartoon sequences.
It's not Kelly at his best, though, and "Inviation to the Dance" remains an interesting curio, earnest on effort and short on realization. Both dance fans in general and Kelly fans in particular will value this video in their collectiona.