Brussels Philharmonic | the joy of bliss

the joy of bliss

Ballet and dance star Wim Vanlessen has had a passion for Gene Kelly since he was little. For him, there is something magical about Singin' in the Rain.


Each time a new pop artist scores a hit with his or her version of one of the legendary songs from Singin' in the Rain, a new generation (re)discovers this Hollywood film classic. Though the music is the main component of this classic motion picture, you can't ignore Gene Kelly's sublime choreography.

a statement of excellence

For the choreography of the iconic scene in the rain, Gene Kelly is alleged to have been inspired by images expressing happiness. He incorporated certain body expressions, patterns and motifs into this iconic dance sequence, which continues to make everyone want to sing and dance in the puddles on the street when it is raining cats and dogs. By creating this legendary scene, Gene Kelly made a statement with Singin' in the Rain, one of excellence, both in music and dance technique. The combination of both arts undoubtedly contributed to the film's worldwide success.

celebrate joy and dance

Singin' in the Rain brings together all the elements of happiness: energy, perseverance, passion, transparency and community - with the title track culminating in a burst of happiness. It is about feeling positive, even on a rainy day. The choreography is very subtle and follows the music: first you see the character walking, then singing and finally dancing in the street, as he surrenders to his immense feeling of bliss. Gene Kelly created this sequence in a very subtle way. Even in the set, where dark colors dominate at first, you gradually see other colors brighten the scene.

"The combination of music and dance is difficult to capture in a film. Dance is the expression of emotions with your body through specific movements. Music and dance are therefore best experienced in the performing arts, in direct and live contact with the audience. Bringing dance to its full potential through the medium of film requires a great deal of skill and knowledge on the part of a director. Gene Kelly is a true virtuoso in dance: he has mastered the technique to perfection - it is as if he is going through it playfully. It is precisely that talent that made him a world star and that still contributes to his status and image." Ballet and dance star Wim Vanlessen

The same goes for the dance movements. The tap dancing is light, the feet close together, the tempo is rhythmic, the metal sounds of the tap shoes are muffled by the water in the puddles. All these foot movements are short and follow each other quickly, while the arms take time to swing the umbrella and hang from the lamppost, creating more openness.

Overall, Gene Kelly invites you to join him in celebrating his joy: as a climax, he dances down the street with big steps and wide jumps of pure joy.