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Big DealBob Fosse and Dance in the American Musical$
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Kevin Winkler

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199336791

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199336791.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 08 December 2021

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Big Deal
Author(s):

Kevin Winkler

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199336791.003.0001

This introduction looks at the development of the role of director-choreographer, that individual who uses movement to align all elements of a musical into an integrated and cohesive whole. Ned Wayburn’s codified dance routines and Julian Mitchell’s scenic effects and production numbers gave way to Seymour Felix’s and Sammy Lee’s early attempts at integrating dance with narrative. From there, George Balanchine’s introduction of ballet into the structure of musicals and the corresponding requirement for classically trained dancers led to Agnes de Mille’s danced psychological scenarios, which embedded choreography into the composition of musicals. These antecedents paved the way for Jerome Robbins, who with West Side Story defined the role of director-choreographer for a new generation, of which Bob Fosse would be one of the most assertive and authoritative.

Keywords:   director-choreographer, production numbers, classically trained dancers, psychological scenarios, choreography, dance playwrighting, Ned Wayburn, George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Jerome Robbins

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