Singing and Dancing in the Rain

Gene Kelly“It’s the difference between seeing Gene Kelly dance, who makes you think you could do it, and seeing Rudolf Nureyev, who makes you realize you couldn’t. It’s very, very different.”—David Rakoff

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Gene Kelly. He was an unbelievably talented performer who moved with such ease, grace and casual flair that he managed, as David Rakoff once observed, to “make you think you could do it.”

There are artists who make it quite clear that what they’re doing is beyond the reach of mere mortals, and others who almost convince us to leap out of our chairs and sing or dance or act or paint or write (well, if we’re going to write, there’s no real need to leave our chairs, but you get the idea). The world benefits from both kinds of artists, but we have a soft spot for the latter type.

Happy birthday, Mr. Kelly, wherever you are.