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The Characteristics of Dance Expressions in Backstage Musicals of Busby Berkeley and Fred Astaire

Jisun Lee 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In the early 20C, Busby Burkeley and Fred Astaire newly introduced backstagemusical. This study aims not only comparing two musicals to show how backstagemusical have been studied and developed, and also to research what the earlyhistory of dance film is. For the study, it reviewed the books which explain the character of popularentertainment and film at the time when backstage musical initiated. To analysethe specific expression of dance, I choose three scene of works, Gold Diggers(1933),Footlight Parade(1933), Dames(1934), Flying Down to Rio(1933), Swing Time(1936) andRoyal Wedding(1951). The analysis is focused on style of dance, how the dancerinvolved, and techniques of camera. At result, Burkeley’s style is spectacle. He separate spectacle from narrativeusing a dancer as a tool of visual composition. On the contrary, Astaire’s style isnarrative. He interweave narrative with spectacle using a dance as a part of thenarrative structure in the film.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.