Dance Me a Song

Dance Me a Song : Astaire, Balanchine, Kelly and the American Film Musical

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Dance Me a Song traces the history of famous Hollywood collaborations as the palimpsest of dance, film, and musical techniques were developed over time. Author Beth Genne draws on the most well-known and influential musical dances of the first half of the century, from the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' series in the thirties (Top Hat, Swing Time, Shall We Dance, and others), through the MGM film dances created and directed by Vincente Minnelli, Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, and again Astaire, whose career continued at MGM in the forties and fifties (Yolanda and The Thief, The Pirate, On the Town, Singin' in the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Bandwagon). George Balanchine, she argues, also plays an important part in this story, from his until now unrecognized collaborations with Vernon Duke and Vincente Minnelli to develop the "jazz ballet" form on Broadway (The Ziegfeld Follies of 1936 and his choreography for On Your Toes, 1936), to the 1939 film version of On Your Toes and the dance sequences he directed with Greg Toland for the Hollywood movie The Goldwyn Follies (1938). Busby Berkeley, whose moving camera techniques according to Gene Kelly "broke down the proscenium frame of the stage" for American dancers, forms a key part of the picture, as do early experimental French directors like Rene Clair and European immigrants to Hollywood Ernst Lubitsch and Rouben Mamoulian. Dance Me a Song provides lively and necessary scholarship for all dance more

Product details

  • Hardback | 360 pages
  • 156 x 235mm
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195382188
  • 9780195382181

About Beth Genne

Beth Genne is Professor of Dance History and Art History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She was Director of research for Balanchine's musical films for the Popular Balanchine Project of the George Balanchine more