Ironically, the day after I post about Kerry Kelly Novick's radio interview on her dad, I received an email asking if I would participate in a radio interview myself in honor of Gene Kelly's birthday. The show aired in Ecuador! How's THAT for the World Wide Web? The station, called Radio City, is a BBC-affiliated station. Their show El Aguacate discusses tv, film, and music news. I don't speak Spanish, but the hosts provided on-air translations as I answered the questions.
So, what did the country of Ecuador most want to know about Gene Kelly? First, they asked what characteristics defined Gene Kelly. I suggested that he was defined by originality and creativity. Gene wasn't just a dancer who danced in the movies; he was a dancer who changed dancing in the movies! Because he recognized that dancing for a camera was different than dancing on stage in front of an audience, his original approach to dance on film will always stand out.
Next I was asked about other aspects of Gene besides his work as a dancer and an actor - specifically, his role as an advocate against racism and as an inventor. It's easy to speak about Gene's anti-racism - he simply believed that it wasn't fair to treat people differently. I naturally talked about his desire to have the incomparable Nicholas Brothers in The Pirate. [Kerry discussed this in her ICONS Radio interview as well.] Equality was important to Gene, and it's one of the many reasons people admire him today.
Finally, I was asked if it was true that Gene helped Madonna choreograph her "Girlie Show" tour in the early 90's. YES! Gene did help her. She sought him out, and he always loved new entertainers and new dance styles even when he could no longer dance himself. Madonna and Gene kept in touch!
So, that was my shot at the big time. Who knew that there were so many Gene Kelly fans in Ecuador? Well, if any of you are visiting this blog - bienvenido!