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How does L.A. celebrate 'La La Land' Day? With aerial dancers, a jazz band and Mayor Garcetti on the keys

Just in time for “La La Land’s” DVD release, the film got a love letter of its own from Los Angeles in a ceremony Tuesday morning on the steps of City Hall.

"It is my pleasure to declare today in the city of Los Angeles 'La La Land' Day," Mayor Eric Garcetti said of Damien Chazelle's Oscar-winning ode to L.A. "You can dance safely somewhere near your car, preferably not in traffic, take a date up to Griffith Park, fall in love with somebody or just with your city all over again. Happy 'La La Land' Day, L.A."

Though the film’s stars, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, were not present, Garcetti presented an ornamental plaque to Chazelle, producer Jordan Horowitz and composer Justin Hurwitz, but not before extolling the virtues of both the film and the city that inspired it.

Horowitz, whom Garcetti called "one of the most gracious people who has ever been in the Academy Awards" (referring to the gaffe at this year’s ceremony, where “La La Land” was mistakenly declared best picture), thanked the city of Los Angeles and called the dedication "an absolute dream come true."

"Los Angeles opened her arms to this movie in an incredible way," said Horowitz. "This movie has that special magic, and the city was at the center of it."

Garcetti then introduced Hurwitz, who will conduct the "La La Land" score at the Hollywood Bowl on May 26 and 27.

"Justin is an amazing composer and artist," said Garcetti. "That earworm that's been living in your head for the past few months, 'City of Stars,' and all of the soundtrack is just something that, once you hear it, and I say this as a composer, not just as a mayor, is beautiful. Its simplicity is powerful, its complexity is approachable."

"One of the biggest pleasures of this movie was getting to work with the L.A. musicians," said Hurwitz. "I'm really excited to work with them again next month at the Hollywood Bowl."

The opening remarks were followed by a performance by the Bandaloop aerial dancers, who performed on the building's facade to the film’s score as hundreds of people congregated on the steps of City Hall, necks craned skyward.

The performance started at 8:30 a.m. and lasted just 10 minutes as the performers danced vertically on the outer walls of City Hall despite strong winds, a drone buzzing around them.

"Dancing on City Hall to the music of 'La La Land' feels as magical as it looks," Melecio Estrella, Bandaloop’s associate artistic director, who opened the performance, told The Times. "Giving dance to the public in celebration of the human spirit is what we are all about, and I'm thankful that 'La La Land' and the mayor's office have helped us to fulfill that mission here in L.A."

Feeling inspired, Garcetti performed "City of Stars" on the piano, accompanied by the jazz band's bass player and drummer, while the saxophone player snapped his fingers to the beat. Passersby across the street stopped to listen, including 13-year-old Madeleine Schnack and her mother, Shirley Moyers.

"I just love all the songs. They're all very catchy," said Schnack. "I was very happy when they almost won the Oscar [for best picture]. And when we heard that we were going to get to hear the music down here, I woke her up super early so she could come."

"I just love this city," added Moyers. "I thought it was a celebration of the city and all its diversity and all its creativity, and it just made me so happy to watch them up there. They were so graceful and beautiful."

And it seems the film’s fans reflect the city’s diverse makeup too. Among them were lovebirds Jacob Rodriguez, 19, and Reanne Marino, 18.

"The main reason why I liked the movie would have to be the romance," said Rodriguez.

"I love musicals and I love the cinematography and the outfits that they put together," said Marino, who wore the yellow dress Stone's character, Mia, wore in the film.

When asked how they'd spend the rest of their "La La Land" Day, the young couple answered almost in unison.

"We're going to go home and watch the movie for the hundredth time."

sonaiya.kelley@latimes.com

follow me on twitter @sonaiyak

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