Buddy

Christopher Wheeldon Takes On Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron

317 posts in this topic

I’ve not found any more news. Has anyone else?
While searching I did find this Pointe Magazine reference from probably awhile ago. It does share one of my hopes for the production.
“There are many reasons to be excited about this musical, not the least of which is that Wheeldon has been casting serious ballet dancers for its upcoming workshop.”
Pointe has also posted a very short video clip from the movie that shows how powerfully beautiful some of the dancing is as well as how important it is to the scope of ballet related artistry.
An added curiosity:
When the video clips ends, on my internet format, a choice of nine more videos is shown. The second one down on the left is a 23 minute video of the dancing with the actual Gershwin American In Paris score superimposed by the video author. Only part of the score was apparently used for the dancing. I’ve just looked at the beginning, but it might be of interest to others.
And:
As for further casting ideas
flowers.gif

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Thanks, Buddy. Don't know what's going on. Anybody?

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Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope will be the leads in the November 22 debut in Paris !



(thanks very much to Josephine at Balletco for finding this)


In reference to our ongoing discussion about whether this will be ballet or musical, it has indicated on the internet that the Royal Ballet’s Leanne Cope also has an excellent singing voice.

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Sorry, Buddy: I just saw your question. "Mericun" = American.

Earlier today Ballet Association tweeted:

Congrats to Leanne Cope on her casting with Robert Fairchild in Wheeldon's American in Paris, Nov-Jan at Théâtre Châtelet. @cope_leanne

To which Cope replied:

@BalletAssoc thank you. I'm looking forward to my new adventure very much.

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Sorry, Buddy: I just saw your question. "Mericun" = American.

Earlier today Ballet Association tweeted:

Congrats to Leanne Cope on her casting with Robert Fairchild in Wheeldon's American in Paris, Nov-Jan at Théâtre Châtelet. @cope_leanne

To which Cope replied:

@BalletAssoc thank you. I'm looking forward to my new adventure very much.

Thanks, Helene. You're up early! I forgot about my question from the post above.

Just bought a ticket for opening night. flowers.gif Orchestra is already sold out.

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Robert Fairchild - he was terrific in Who Cares!

I was still hoping for Marcelo Gomes or Rolando Sarabia. Perhaps in a later run after some singing lessons if necessary. Congratulations to Robert Fairchild, who apparently does sing, and a Gold Star to you, vipa !

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I still want to know who's playing Oscar Levant!

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A story in French noting the forthcoming November production (along with two other movies-to-stage adaptations (alas for the theater, it used to be the other way around).

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I still want to know who's playing Oscar Levant!

How’s your acting ?
In case you can’t make it let’s give Brandon Uranowitz a shot at it.
“Brandon Uranowitz is an American stage and television actor,[1] best known for one of the lead roles in Baby It's You!, the Broadway musical which tells the story of singer Florence Greenberg. [2] [3] [4] Prior to Baby, It's You!, Uranowitz had the role of Mark on the national tour of Rent.”
And more casting announcements as posted by dirac.

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I still want to know who's playing Oscar Levant!

How’s your acting ?

About as good as my piano playing, which is to say not very.

In case you can’t make it let’s give Brandon Uranowitz a shot at it.

“Brandon Uranowitz is an American stage and television actor,[1] best known for one of the lead roles in Baby It's You!, the Broadway musical which tells the story of singer Florence Greenberg. [2] [3] [4] Prior to Baby, It's You!, Uranowitz had the role of Mark on the national tour of Rent.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_Uranowitz

And more casting announcements as posted by dirac.

http://www.theatermania.com/new-york-city-theater/news/06-2014/fairchild-cope-lead-american-in-paris_69055.html

We'll see how it goes, but he's certainly got a much better resume than I do!

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“Vail International Dance Festival 2014: Gene Kelly Tribute with Robert Fairchild”




(Thanks to sophia at Dansomanie)



Note: This is to Gene Kelly's choreography.


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Thanks for posting that. What a fabulous performance. Even if it turns out that he can't act or sing, it will be worth it to see this show.

The usual Broadway run involves 8 shows a week. That's a heavy load. Hope he can handle that schedule.

Can't wait to see this show on Broadway.

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Even if it turns out that he can't act or sing,

Well....those would be big handicaps in an evening-length live show. :)

I add my thanks, Buddy. A charming clip. Kelly, who was such a dedicated proselytizer for dance and ballet, would be delighted.

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It’s also interesting to see how Fairchild’s intense classical training lends a different accent to his (charming) rendering of Kelly’s choreography (as staged by Woetzel). His feet are distinctly pointed when it’s not really called for, his turns and poses just a shade too precise when they should look tossed off. He could also work on prop use – the hat could play a bigger role here.

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Even if it turns out that he can't act or sing,

Well....those would be big handicaps in an evening-length live show. smile.png

Indeed!

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It’s also interesting to see how Fairchild’s intense classical training lends a different accent to his (charming) rendering of Kelly’s choreography (as staged by Woetzel). His feet are distinctly pointed when it’s not really called for, his turns and poses just a shade too precise when they should look tossed off. He could also work on prop use – the hat could play a bigger role here.

Lack of rehearsal time could explain a lot. Fairchild studied a lot of jazz growing up.

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His feet are distinctly pointed when it’s not really called for, his turns and poses just a shade too precise when they should look tossed off...

Yes. Fairchild has a longer mid-section which throws the center of gravity off and so the waist has less importance, Overall it's more stylized than Gene Kelly and lacks a little of Kelly's sense of the vernacular. It's more like a tribute to Bob Fosse.

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Lack of rehearsal time could explain a lot. Fairchild studied a lot of jazz growing up.

Things can change when a dancer really focuses on training classically, the way an opera singer who once studied pop music can lose some of his feel for pop style. Quiggin's phrase "sense of the vernacular" was what I was trying to get at (Quiggin just said it better). :) Kelly studied quite a bit of ballet, but iit wasn't his first dance language, as he would have readily admitted.

Yes. Fairchild has a longer mid-section which throws the center of gravity off and so the waist has less importance

Good point.

None of this may make much difference in the new version of "An American in Paris," which will be staged by a ballet choreographer and danced by two ballet dancers, which may shift the show's balance decisively toward ballet.

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It's a charming homage to Kelly, but besides the obvious challenges by his different body type, I think Fairchild lacks the crispness in his phrasing necessary to make a piece like sing. In order to make a jazz-influenced piece like this work, it takes a real consciousness of the groove of the music, and Fairchild doesn't quite have a firm grasp on it, so the accents aren't really landing with real impact. It makes me wonder how he'll do on the tap pieces in An American in Paris.

In case anyone wants to compare, here in Gene Kelly in Ballin' the Jack:

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None of this may make much difference in the new version of "An American in Paris," which will be staged by a ballet choreographer and danced by two ballet dancers, which may shift the show's balance decisively toward ballet.

This is a very good and highly interesting point, dirac. I’m intrigued by this possibility of bringing an increased ballet aesthetic and sensitivity to the ‘broadway stage.’

Sidwich, thanks for Gene Kelly’s original version. In this particular work I actually see a lot less difference than I would have expected between the feel what Gene Kelly did and what Robert Fairchild is doing . I’m rather fond of the grace and fineness of Robert Fairchild’s take. No, it’s not what I would strongly and literally associate with Gene Kelly, but that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be very successful.

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It’s also interesting to see how Fairchild’s intense classical training lends a different accent to his (charming) rendering of Kelly’s choreography (as staged by Woetzel). His feet are distinctly pointed when it’s not really called for, his turns and poses just a shade too precise when they should look tossed off. He could also work on prop use – the hat could play a bigger role here.

I have to agree with these observations. Fairchild is indeed, a fine technician, but as of now doesn't possess that extraordinary improvised look to the dancing that Kelly brought to everything he did. Yes, Kelly was "choreographed" also, but somehow it did always look "tossed off". As if he just decided that moment to "dance". That was his "joy". His smile told it all! His legs weren't always straight, his toes weren't pointed like ballet dancers tend to do. His upper body at times looked like he drove a truck rather than danced piroettes. His approach to the music didn't seem to be from counts or beats, but rather from some internal relationship he had with the band. And yes, the hat needs work! Notice how Kelly has his down over his eyes at a steep angle, almost hiding his face. Except for that smile! I'm hoping more research and rehearsal will help Fairchild in one way, but in another, I hope he just forgets all he knows about dance and just lets it happen.

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Thanks for making the compare/contrast easy with these clips.

My initial response is that the thing both dancers share is a deep 'likeability' -- they're essentially personable and engaging. Fairchild has a more finished style (no surprise here) with cleaner attention paid to shape, especially in his limbs. Kelly has a slightly stronger and more free sense of attack, with less concern about shape, but they're both very sunny performers here -- I think that's the element that really stands out.

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Thanks for making the compare/contrast easy with these clips.My initial response is that the thing both dancers share is a deep 'likeability' -- they're essentially personable and engaging. Fairchild has a more finished style (no surprise here) with cleaner attention paid to shape, especially in his limbs. Kelly has a slightly stronger and more free sense of attack, with less concern about shape, but they're both very sunny performers here -- I think that's the

element that really stands out.

I agree Sandik, the likeabilty factor is strong in both. Fairchild will have to make the role his own if it is going to work. Kelly was dancing in a different era. The key imo for Fairchild will be bringing a feeling of spontainaity to it.

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