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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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Playwriting through Movement

Playwriting through Movement

De Mille’s Dances for Carousel

(p.89) 5 Playwriting through Movement
Agnes de Mille

Kara Anne Gardner

Oxford University Press

Carousel was de Mille’s second collaboration with Rodgers, Hammerstein, and the producers of the Theatre Guild. The show moved into the realm of fantasy. An adaptation of Franz Molnár’s play Liliom, it tells the story of a disreputable carnival barker who falls in love and conceives a child, then commits suicide after a botched robbery. Watching his daughter from heaven, he decides to return to earth so he can help her as she struggles for acceptance in her small town. Hammerstein worked closely with de Mille to depict the fantastic elements of the plot through dance, particularly in the Act II ballet. This chapter describes all the dances of Carousel and explores why de Mille saw her contributions to this musical as an authorship that deserved recognition and compensation.

Keywords:   Carousel, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Theatre Guild, Franz Molnár, Liliom, Bambi Linn, Rouben Mamoulian, dance copyright

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