Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Romantic Realism: "An American in Paris"

Like most Broadway Classics "An American in Paris" (1951) feels like Romantic Realism. But the great movie also contains elements of abstract impressionism

Central ballet of An American in Paris, with Gershwin's original score restored when possible*.

An American in Paris is more than a great Broadway Classic. Music by the master Gershwin (score), featuring the great Gene Kelly, the choreography partly inspired by scenes from the French impressionist painters, the sum total of this central piece like many Broadway Classics, has the feel of Romantic Realism.

* What if Gene Kelly had danced to George Gershwin's original score instead of Saul Chaplin's version? Why did Kelly ask for changes? Why did Ira Gershwin allow it? Would George have agreed? Why were 6 minutes cut when over 5 minutes of new music was added? Here is the ballet with Gershwin's original score restored when possible.