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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 Marine in 'Ring Around the Rosy'; and Sinbad in 'Sinbad the Sailor'. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Filmed between late August 1952 and early February 1953 at MGM's British studio in Boreham Wood, Elstree, with shooting continuing at Metro's Culver City, California studio between the third and thirteenth of October 1953, the movie's box-office appeal was doubted by MGM executives, who held back the film until a national release on May 15, 1956, followed on May 22 by a Manhattan opening at the Plaza Theatre. Indeed, this innovative, all-dancing project failed to make money. See more »
Practically plot less, this film is only for the die-hard dance lovers out there.
"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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