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Agnes de MilleTelling Stories in Broadway Dance$
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Kara Anne Gardner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199733682

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199733682.001.0001

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One Touch of Venus

One Touch of Venus

Love among Strangers with Forty Minutes for Lunch

(p.47) 3 One Touch of Venus
Agnes de Mille

Kara Anne Gardner

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes de Mille’s collaboration with composer Kurt Weill on the musical One Touch of Venus, which followed on the heels of Oklahoma!’s success. De Mille’s collaboration with Weill was quite different from her working relationship with Richard Rodgers. Weill and de Mille worked closely together to compose the dance music, as evidenced by letters, musical sketches, and the accounts of the dancers who were there, such as Sono Osato. Weill arranged and orchestrated the dance music for One Touch of Venus, while Rodgers left that work to others on Oklahoma!. De Mille’s dances in One Touch of Venus also served a different function than her ballets in Oklahoma!. They offered their own comic narratives and were perceived by director Elia Kazan as “set pieces,” less integrated into the musical as a whole.

Keywords:   Kurt Weill, concept musical, Mary Martin, Sono Osato, Cheryl Crawford, Elia Kazan, One Touch of Venus

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