Marco Papa

Viafarini DOCVA

History is strewn with talents who emerge and then recede into the shadows. Marco Papa has chosen the story of Gene Anthony Ray to exemplify this phenomenon. After being selected to portray the character Leroy in the film Fame (1980), the talented young African-American dancer became a star and traveled the world. Indeed, there was real overlap between the identities of the character in the film and the person who played the role—a story typical of the creative desire for expression that in the ’80s seemed like a powerful antidote to the political and social critiques of the previous decade. Many personalities emerged, in art, literature, and film, but Ray, like so many others, did not keep pace and eventually returned to the shadows. Papa, who was a child in the ’80s, decided to go in search of Ray—and found him. A work in progress was born, and it has developed in various stages, the

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