International Tap Dance Hall of Fame

 

The International Tap Dance Hall of Fame is the only tap dance hall of fame exclusively focused on tap dancers. It features founding and innovative 20th and 21st century professional tap dancers.With a collection of photographs, biographies, and videos, the Hall of Fame is becoming a colorful and diverse retrospective of America's seminal tap dance personalities.

 

2014 - Gene Kelly  Born Eugene Curran Kelly in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1912, Gene Kelly served his “apprenticeship,” as dance teacher, summer stock choreographer and amateur night performer, before heading to New York in 1937. Achieving his first great success as “Harry the Hoofer” in William Saroyan’s The Time of Your Life in 1939, Kelly became an overnight sensation on Christmas 1940, in the title role in the landmark musical Pal Joey. David O. Selznick signed him for pictures, but sold the contract to M-G-M.

In his first film, For Me and My Gal in 1942, Kelly established himself as a strong and unique screen personality. With Cover Girl in 1944, he began to explore what he saw as the unlimited reaches of the film medium. His “Alter Ego” number still stands as testimony to the vision of an individual determined to change the look of dance on film. In his first work as director, Kelly took the musical On the Town out onto the streets of New York. His innovative use of dance, music and camera continued through such films as An American in Paris, Singin’ in the Rain, Brigadoon, Summer Stock, and his homage Invitation to the Dance.

An American in Paris won the Academy Award as Best Film of the Year for 1951. In recognition of his contribution, the Academy presented Kelly with a special award “in appreciation of his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer; and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film.” Following his creation of the ballet Pas de Dieux for the Paris Opera in 1960, Kelly was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. In 1995, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. Frequently described as the best musical of all time, Singin’ in the Rain was one of the first 25 films selected by the Library of Congress for its National Film Registry. Kelly died in 1996 at the age of 83.

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