Gene Kelly Ballet for SB

Jun 29 2021 | By More

Scottish Ballet Revives Sixties Ballet for Autumn Tour

Scottish Ballet is planning a hybrid tour and feature-length film this autumn of Starstruck, a reworking with new elements of Gene Kelly’s 1960 ballet Pas de Dieux, which will be getting its UK premiere in the production.

The news comes as the company’s first feature film, The Secret Theatre, won Best Dance Film at the National Dance Awards in London on Sunday. More than 55,000 people watched the film over three days when it was released in December 2020 (★★★★☆ Christmas treat).

Paris Opera Ballet Rehearsing. Photo Credit Rodger Pic.

For Starstruck, Scottish Ballet has worked with Jean Kelly’s widow, Patricia Ward Kelly, to revive the original ballet which Gene Kelly created for Paris Opera Ballet in 1960, using Gershwin’s effortlessly cool Concerto in F as his score.

Scottish Ballet’s CEO/Artistic Director Christopher Hampson and designer Lez Brotherston have added a new twist to his original jazzy, joyful Pas de Dieux, which was highly acclaimed at the time as ‘a breath of fresh air’.

Pas de Dieux tells of the ardent goddess Aphrodite and mischievous god Eros who descend to earth and seduce a lifeguard and his fiancée. Just when the newly-formed couples are basking in the pleasures of love Zeus arrives to win back his fickle wife, Aphrodite.


Starstruck – Gene Kelly’s love letter to ballet, is set within the glamour of Paris in 1960. It recreates a world where jazz meets ballet, gods masquerade as mortals, and the stars align. It asks its audience to step into the studio where the dancers are warming up as a new show is taking shape that will be fit for the gods…

Speaking of the new production, Patricia Ward Kelly said: “It took over two decades for me to find the right home for Gene’s ballet, but I am certain now that it is in the right place and in the right hands… Gene would be very proud.”

Costume designs for Eros and Aphrodite

Christopher Hampson, said: “Gene Kelly’s pioneering choreography and much-loved style influenced a generation of dance-makers, and we honour his creative legacy with this playful new production.

“We are very proud of the distinctive dance films we have made over the last few years, and look forward to adding this to our canon.”

Designer Lez Brotherston, adds: “It’s a simple story that we aim to tell in a sophisticated way. I hope it will be a great event to get people back into the theatre and remind them of the fun of being there.”

return to the stage

Scottish Ballet is hoping that Starstruck will mark its return to the live stage, with an autumn tour of Scotland planned – subject to venues being able to reopen to significant capacity. The production is also being created as a new feature-length film, with tickets available to the public later this year.

To support the plans, Scottish Ballet has launched a Fit for the Gods Costume Appeal, asking the public to help bring the ballet to life. Donations will support the creation of nearly 100 new costumes, reimagined by Lez Brotherston and created using historically accurate fabrics and period accessories inspired by the original designs.

Further details of the Fit for the Gods appeal are here:

Further details of performances will be announced as they are confirmed.

Claude Bessy and dancers of Paris Opera Ballet rehearsing Pas de Dieux with Gene Kelly. Photo by Jack Garofalo


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