When dancer, actor and choreographer Harry Shum, Jr. saw a TV special from 1958 called Gene Kelly: Dancing – A Man’s Game, he was quickly captivated and inspired. During the special, Gene Kelly interpreted the moves of top athletes, such as Mickey Mantle and Sugar Ray Robinson, into a choreographed dance. Being both an avid dancer and athlete, it didn’t take long for Harry to begin exploring the similarities between dance and sport, despite the ongoing idea that the two are on very different spectrums.
Harry teamed up with filmmaker Cole Walliser, as well as leading contemporary dancers and athletes to create a new video series called “Parallels.” The series analyzes and compares the movements of dancers and athletes to emphasize the similarities between the two genres and what that parallel could mean.
“They serve two completely different purposes, but what makes sport and dance the same?” Harry asks. “Timing. Grace. Rhythm. Control. This is not a direct comparison, but an exploration of the tenacity, emotion and physical prowess that it takes to reach the highest level of athleticism. Is sport an art form? Is dance a sport?”
The series consists of four videos which juxtaposes the movement, athleticism and grace of Red Bull action sport athletes to various kinds of dancers. “Parallels” premieres today, July 30. Check them out for yourself below.