Invitation to the Dance (1956)

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This is a movie where three entirely different stories are told though dancing. Words are not used and the style of dancing is different for each part. Kelly is a clown in the 'Circus'; a ... See full summary »


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Title: Invitation to the Dance (1956)

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Complete credited cast:
The Clown in 'Circus' / The Marine in 'Ring Around the Rosy' / Sinbad in 'Sinbad the Sailor'
The Lover in 'Circus' / The Artist in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
Claire Sombert ...
The Loved in 'Circus'
The Girl on the Stairs in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
Diana Adams ...
The Hatcheck Girl in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
The Sharpie in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
The Femme Fatale in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
David Paltenghi ...
The Husband in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
Daphne Dale ...
The Wife in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
Claude Bessy ...
The Model in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
Irving Davies ...
The Crooner in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
The Composer at the Piano in 'Ring Around the Rosy'
Carol Haney ...
David Kasday ...
The Genie in 'Sinbad the Sailor'


This is a movie where three entirely different stories are told though dancing. Words are not used and the style of dancing is different for each part. Kelly is a clown in the 'Circus'; a Marine in 'Ring Around the Rosy'; and Sinbad in 'Sinbad the Sailor'. Written by Tony Fontana <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

circus | sailor | genie | clown | bracelet | See All (24) »


See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 May 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Circus  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)


$600,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Production on the film continued into mid-June 1954, with animation for the "Sinbad the Sailor" segment under the guidance of William Hanna, Joseph Barbera and Fred Quimby. During the live-action shooting, Carol Haney had "stood in" for the animated Scheherazade. See more »


Referenced in Due South: An Invitation to Romance (1995) See more »


Ring Around The Rosy
Music by André Previn
Conducted by André Previn
Orchestrated by Wally Heglin (uncredited)
Danced by (in ring order): Daphne Dale, Igor Youskevitch, Claude Bessy,
Tommy Rall, Belita, Irving Davies, Diana Adams, Gene Kelly,
, Tamara Toumanova, and David Paltenghi
See more »

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User Reviews

Practically plot less, this film is only for the die-hard dance lovers out there.
30 September 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Invitation to the Dance" is a personal film project by Gene Kelly. It consists of several different stories which are set to music and dance and there is no dialog. As for the stories, they are very broad and told through pantomime and dance. They consist of: "Circus"--A story filled with pathos about a clown (Pedrolino from the Italian Commedia dell'Arte--played by Kelly) who is in love with a pretty dancer at the circus. But she barely notices him. So, he does something really stupid and the audience is supposed to be brought to tears. I hate pathos.

"Ring Around the Rosy"--A rather cynical look at a faithless wife. The husband gives her a bangle for their anniversary and she soon gives it to her lover. He gives it to his model and folks keep passing it around until ultimately it makes its way back to the husband--who, inexplicably, takes it all in stride. Kelly is in this one less than the other segments.

"Sinbad the Sailor"--A sailor is on leave in a stereotypically olde tyme Arabian village. There he finds a genie--one that looks like a little boy. He has the boy magically don a sailor suit like himself and the two have a merry dance together. Later, they magically transport themselves into a picture book and more dancing ensues amidst a cartoon world. The kid, by the way, was an incredibly good dancer. Of all the segments, this one is probably the most approachable for the average viewer.

I can easily see why "Invitation to the Dance" failed at the box office. While the quality of the dancing in this film is among the finest you'll ever see in a movie, there is no real plot. So, unless you are insanely devoted to modern dance, most potential viewers wouldn't bother seeing it in the first place. Then, if you did get someone to watch it who wasn't a dance-o-phile (like me), he would be bored to tears by it (once again, like me). While I can respect all the work that went into it, I cannot see it having much of an audience. This might explain why it so seldom is shown on television

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