This is a moving reference to the very film which made a then 9-year-old Donen want to get into the dance and film world after he saw the extravagant musical in the cinema. As soon as he was old enough, he got himself immersed in that world. At first he was primarily a choreographer but he also directed scenes, and two exceptionally fine examples of his art, with Gene Kelly, are from Cover Girl (Charles Vidor 1944) and Anchors Aweigh (George Sidney 1945). He conceived of them and choreographed them with Kelly and then directed them and did the post-production too.
Here are some favourite sequences:
Royal Wedding (1951)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
It's Always Fair Weather (1955)
Funny Face (1957)
Charade is uncommonly delightful and an excellent blend of light comedy and thriller. Two for the Road (1967) is also good, and for a change Audrey Hepburn is there playing against a man younger than her, Albert Finney. It also has one of Henry Mancini's most beautiful scores.
For a comparison between Donen and Minnelli this clip from Minnelli's The Pirate (1948) is a good starting point, as it is more or less the same song as Donald O'Connor does in Singin' in the Rain, seen above. Cole Porter wrote the original, Be a Clown.
I shall not show any clips from Blame it on Rio because I cannot stand it. But here is the scene from Flying Down to Rio.