Your completed essay will include two components, as outlined below:.
1. Critical analysis of specific period, artist or work From across the history of musical theatre as a genre, select for examination and analysis ONE OF THE FOLLOWING upon which to focus your writing:
1. A specific period or focus of musical theatre production. This period can be limited to a specific decade or subgenre period but should include a geographical focus, for example: Hollywood musicals of the 1940s, Asian-themed midcentury Broadway musicals, or the British rock musical since 2000.
2. The work of a specific choreographer or movement director not covered in depth in the module; for example Busby Berkeley, Hermes Pan or Gillian Lynne.
3. A specific musical theatre work represented in live performance or on film not covered in depth in the module; for example Kiss Me Kate, Gypsy, or Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge. It is also acceptable to compare and contrast two works. In addition to historical and/or biographical background on your chosen topic, your study should formulate and offer support for an argument taking up one or more of the lenses through which we have viewed musical theatre dance in class: gender, race/nationality, and class, as well as potential interactions between them.
2. Dance analysis Within your essay, you will Include an in-depth analysis of one musical number, a danced section from a number, or a movement phrase from within a number related to the focus you have chosen. This descriptive analysis should support your argument and discussion of your choice above. You may choose to analyse original stage choreography or film choreography according to availability; however, you should prioritize professional versions of musicals. Your choice will also necessarily be contingent on availability; for example, you may choose to analyze or the opening number from A Chorus Line in the original Broadway choreography filmed for the 1976 Tony Awards; the “New Girl in Town” number from the 2007 film version of Hairspray; or Fred Astaire’s iconic “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails” cane dance number from Top Hat (1936), all of which are available on YouTube. The library also has numerous holdings of musicals on video. Alternately, you may choose to attend a live musical in London or elsewhere such as An American in Paris, Wicked, or Kinky Boots. Your description should be detailed, including the material’s place in the musical’s overall thematic, the structure of the number, and a “thick description” of the dancing; however, it should go beyond the descriptive to elaborate the ways in which the choreography resonates with or potentially problematises your argument