Leslie Caron is in London as An American in Paris is about to be in the cinemas once again. She talked to The Times:
When I first arrived in Hollywood I had never seen a musical. I was only 18. Until then I had been a premier dancer in the Ballets des Champs-Élysées, in Paris. Then, one day, a friend told me that someone called Gene Kelly had seen me dance and wanted me to do a screen test for a film he was planning, An American in Paris.
I’d never done that kind of dancing, but my friend said Gene thought he could teach me. So I met Gene, did the test, then forgot all about it. Within two weeks I received a phone call saying, “You’ve been chosen”.
Here are the six musical stars that Caron prefers to watch:
She is the greatest singer who ever did the movies, and a remarkable actress. In opera, it has to be Callas; in musicals, it is Streisand
Fred was a genius in every way: in his timing, his grace, his sense of humour. His lightness was another advantage. Weight is important. If you’re a lump, the effect will never be very graceful
Gene wasn’t a ballroom dancer or very refined. But he was very sexy, very earthy and very skilful. I wasn’t in love with him, though. I had a tendency to be in love with the director
Travolta was staggering. He had great grace and great timing. And a sense of humour — very important when you dance
Rita was a remarkable dancer. I liked her and Fred Astaire in combination a lot – and I have a feeling that he did, too. They both had those long arms and long, long legs
Judy was electrifying. She was someone who had everything: singing, dancing and acting. Her talent was enough to make angels cry
via The Times
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.