“Omnibus”: Dancing, a Man’s Game on DVD

From “Omnibus”: Season 7, Episode 3

Distributed by Entertainment One; produced by The Archive of American Television; 55 minutes


In 1958, Gene Kelly hosted a television special, Dancing, a Man’s Game. Recently issued on DVD for the first time, the show was a pet project for the mid-career Kelly, who conceived, wrote, choreographed and co-directed it. In an attempt to educate audiences on inherent masculine grace found in dance, Kelly assembled some of the biggest athletes of his day and compared their movement to that of a dancer—Mickey Mantle jumping to catch a line drive, Sugar Ray Robinson throwing a punch, Dick Button spinning like a top on an ice rink. Dance movement was ably demonstrated by none other than a young Edward Villella (DT, January 2013) of New York City Ballet.

While the point Kelly makes in the DVD about the similarities between dance and athletics is telling (both are about “rhythm, man, rhythm,” according to Robinson), the real wonder is Kelly himself. Confident and charming before the camera, he offers the audience an abbreviated dance appreciation course, demonstrating the dancing as he talks and sings. Though the film quality is often grainy, and Kelly’s thoughts on the distinct roles of men and women in dance can seem dated today, the show is nothing short of a tour-de-force.

Teaching Tips
Justin Boccitto teaches a hybrid class. Photo courtesy Boccitto

Just as teachers were getting comfortable with teaching virtual classes, many studios are adding an extra challenge into the mix: in-person students learning alongside virtual students. Such hybrid classes are meant to keep class sizes down and to give students options to take class however they're comfortable.

But dividing your attention between virtual students and masked and socially distant in-person students—and giving them each a class that meets their needs—is no easy feat.

Dance Teacher asked four teachers what they've learned so far.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
All photos by Ryan Heffington

"Annnnnnnd—we're back!"

Ryan Heffington is kneeling in front of his iPhone, looking directly into the camera, smiling behind his bushy mustache. He's in his house in the desert near Joshua Tree, California, phone propped on the floor so it stays steady, his bright shorty shorts, tank top and multiple necklaces in full view. Music is already playing—imagine you're at a club—and soon he's swaying and bouncing from side to side, the beat infusing his bones.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Evelyn Cisneros-Legate. Photo by Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West

Evelyn Cisneros-Legate is bringing her hard-earned expertise to Ballet West. The former San Francisco Ballet star is taking over all four campuses of The Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy as the school's new director.

Cisneros-Legate, whose mother put her in ballet classes in an attempt to help her overcome her shyness, trained at the San Francisco Ballet School and School of American Ballet before joining San Francisco Ballet as a full company member in 1977. She danced with the company for 23 years, breaking barriers as the first Mexican American to become a principal dancer in the U.S., and has graced the cover of Dance Magazine no fewer than three times.

As an educator, Cisneros-Legate has served as ballet coordinator at San Francisco Ballet, principal of Boston Ballet School's North Shore Studio and artistic director of after-school programming at the National Dance Institute (NDI). Dance Teacher spoke with her about her new position, her plans for the academy and leading in the time of COVID-19.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.