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  Dancers Louise Nadeau & Brian Staihr in Am American in Paris in spring 1987. Photographer Don Middleton.

An American in Paris
Choreography: Todd Bolender
Music: George Gershwin
Costumes: Russ Vogler

Conceived as balletic entertainment, Todd Bolender's An American in Paris "rightly puts ballet in the world of entertainment where it belongs." George Gershwin composed the music during three months in 1928 and based it upon a handful of memorable tunes. The music is a work of atmosphere and panorama, with prevailing street noise, including the four taxi horns which the composer transported from Paris to his home in New York. (Evenings with the Orchestra)

Gershwin wished his listeners to read into the music whatever episodes they might care to imagine. Todd Bolender did just that with his choreography telling its own tale of an American tourist in Paris in the 1920's. The four main characters in Mr. Bolender's version are "The Poster Girl," "The American," "The Flower Girl," and "The Bruiser."

In creating An American in Paris in 1987, Mr. Bolender enlisted the talents of his friend Kansas City artist Dale Eldred. Because Mr. Eldred valued on art which can be neither contained within museum walls nor restricted to historical time, the collaboration with dance and theatre seemed a logical one to him. Campy, humorous sets create the perfect atmosphere of Paris during the Roaring '20's.

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