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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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Shaping the Story of Brigadoon

Shaping the Story of Brigadoon

(p.117) 6 Shaping the Story of Brigadoon
Agnes de Mille

Kara Anne Gardner

Oxford University Press

Brigadoon was one of de Mille’s most successful musicals and one of her happiest collaborations. The show drew on many stylistic sources, including modern dance, traditional Scottish dance, and ballet. De Mille and director Robert Lewis worked closely together to create seamless transitions between dialogue scenes and dance numbers. They also staged a chase scene and a funeral dance, emphasizing a minor character, Harry Beaton, who threatens to destroy the mythical Scottish village by leaving it forever. Beaton’s character serves to complicate an otherwise sentimental plot, providing an example of the way de Mille’s choreography contributed a distinct layer of meaning to the musical as a whole.

Keywords:   Brigadoon, Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe, James Mitchell, Lidjia Franklin, Harry Beaton, traditional Scottish dance, Robert Lewis, Cheryl Crawford

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