University of Pittsburgh
October 2, 2012

Pitt’s Gene Kelly Centennial Celebration To Be Hosted by Film Historian Patricia Ward Kelly Oct. 25

Free event marks Pitt’s 225th anniversary and 100th anniversary of birth of Pitt alum and legendary dancer, director, choreographer, actor, and singer Gene Kelly
Contact: 

Sharon Blake

412-624-4364

Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—One of the University of Pittsburgh’s most renowned alumni—the special Academy Award-honored dancer, director, choreographer, actor, and singer Gene Kelly—will be the focus of Pitt’s Gene Kelly Centennial Celebration at 8 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Seventh-Floor Auditorium of Pitt’s Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland.Patricia Kelly

Film historian Patricia Ward Kelly, Gene Kelly’s widow and the leading authority on the cinema and stage legend, will deliver Pittsburgh and Pitt-centered commentary on her late husband’s life and career as she shares classic moments from his films and her unique insights with the audience. Mrs. Kelly recently has given sold-out presentations on Gene Kelly in Los Angeles and New York City. 

The event is free to the public, but because seating is limited, RSVP accepts only are required by e-mailing GK100@pitt.edu or calling 412-624-4147.

Gene Kelly earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1933. While at Pitt, he became involved with the University’s Cap and Gown Club and later served as its director from 1934 to 1938. He taught dance in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood and choreographed musicals at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and Nixon Theater. Kelly enrolled in Pitt’s School of Law but left soon after to concentrate on teaching dance.

Kelly is credited with bringing a particularly American style of dance to Hollywood musicals and for changing the look of dance on film through his revolutionary innovations with the camera, choreography, and animation. Kelly’s iconic dance sequence from the classic 1952 film musical Singin’ in the Rain, in which he dances up and down a rain-drenched street twirling an umbrella and splashing in puddles, is considered by many to be the most memorable dance performance on film. 

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10/2/12/mab/cjhm

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