Lone Star Ballet brings a slice of Paris to Amarillo

“The setting is Paris! Paris, like love, cannot be explained, only felt.

“From the ashes of World War II rise the new beginnings offered by this amazing city to an expatriate American soldier with the desires to become a famous artist, a concert pianist/composer.

“A French music hall singer longing to perform in America, and a beautiful young French girl whose joy in life and dance cannot be explained,” said Craig Henderson, Executive Director of Lone Star Ballet.

He continued, “Based on the amazing Gene Kelly movie, Lone Star Ballet brings to the stage the magic of Gershwin music, all styles of dance from pointe shoes to tap shoes, the story and the beautiful fantasy of love in this season's final ballet sequence.”

Set to George Gershwin’s An American in Paris, the show includes orchestration from 1928. It takes the audience on tour through French art history while standing as a metaphor for Jerry and Lise’s complicated relationship.

“The pretentious sequence, featuring an Impressionistic period daydream in the style of various painters, is one of the longest uninterrupted dance sequences of any Hollywood film,” writes AMC’s Filmsite.

Gershwin’s original composition was designed to transport to the listener to their first-time in Paris. It was inspired by Gershwin’s own experiences in the city during a time when it was populated by many artists, such as Hemingway and Picasso, seeking inspiration. It became one of his best-known pieces of music.

An American in Paris took longer to film than many feature films of the time. The budget for the dance sequence alone was reported to be around $500,000, or $7.1 million in 2018 dollars.

Other artists’ work had such a grand impact on Gershwin during his time in Paris. This ballet recreates the spirit of that sense of artistic wonder through its scenery.

Lone Star Ballet will present An American in Paris at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts on April 20 at 8 p.m., and April 21 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

For tickets, visit www.lonestarballet.org/performances-tickets or call (806) 378-3096.

The Gayly. April 14, 2018. 1:07 a.m. CST.