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« End-of-semester musings: Ten things professors refuse to learn | Main | This Week's Acquisitions »

November 30, 2006

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Bob

Dream sequences do seem insipid these days, but so do a lot of the other dance numbers in Oklahoma and other old musicals. But I've enjoyed watching and re-watching a number of robust dances recently in movies like Mary Poppins, Dancing in the Rain and the Kevin Kline Pirates of Penzance. Or maybe the word for this kind of dancing is "brilliant." I know that the Twyla Tharp dances in movies like Amadeus and Hair were chopped up into background bits, but they too were robust and surprising.

John Baker

Aren't these fluctuations in popularity fashionable? I know it's not what you originally blogged about, but there is a huge renaissance around social dance in the UK at the moment, salsa, tango, being the main areas of interest.

ceresina

"Does MTV rear its head here?"
Not really your ultimate point, but omigod yes. So *extremely* annoying.
There was a rash of silly-teen-age-dance-movies about 5 years ago ("Save the Last Dance" & "Center Stage" are two), but you can't see any of the dancing because it's all quick cuts. What's the point?

Clio Bluestocking

Also not the main point: I think the quick cuts in current movies that incorporate dance are there to cover for the actors' weaknesses in dancing skills. The people hired to play these roles are hired because they can act, not because they can dance. In "Chicago," the editing on the stars is quick and choppy, but lingers a bit longer on the dancers (like in the "Cellblock Tango" number). You get the impression of good dancing from the stars, but not any example of it.

Anyway, you raise an interesting point about the cost of going to a stage show. It is expensive, and dance seems to be something best viewed live. Dance lessons are also expensive. So, dance becomes something of a class privledge.

Also, do you think that there might be some type of gender or sexual-orientation stigma attached to dance? Or is that even relevent?

I am assuming that by "dance," we are talking about classical types for performance.

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