Posted on February 2, 2021
How many of you knew Gene Kelly’s last film appearance was in the 1980 fantasy musical Xanadu, in which he starred alongside Olivia Newton-John, fresh from her success in Grease? Xanadu was made at the height of the disco craze, and tells of a beautiful muse sent from above to inspire a struggling artist and help motivate him to open a roller-disco.
The film has choreography by Kenny Ortega, who later went on to create the dance sequences for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Dirty Dancing, and Michael Jackson’s “This is It” tour. It was Ortega who persuaded Kelly to appear in Xanadu, and the great dancer can be seen in a 1940s-style number with Newton-John, as well as performing on roller skates. Following the film’s release, Ortega and Kelly became firm friends.
The movie is now available on DVD and Blu-ray disc from Fabulous Films, and the release also contains bonus features including Going Back to Xanadu, a documentary film featuring the cast and crew. Courtesy of Fabulous Films, Dancing Times has three copies of the DVD to give away as competition prizes to three lucky readers. To enter, simply email your name and full postal address to us, along with the answer to the following question: In what year was Gene Kelly born? The closing date is February 28, 2021. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olivia Newton-John and her daughter Chloe Lattanzi’s new single, “Window in the Wall,” is now available on all digital music platforms.
Photograph: Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly in Xanadu.