American movies of 1933 as a basis for choreography

Date

1977-08

Authors

Jones, Sara Bess Moody

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was: (1) to examine the American movies of 1933 as a source of choreography, and (2) to develop and present from the findings an extended choreographic work. Methods: Initial research was done on the movies of 1933 that depicted four selected character types: (1) the seductress, (2) the gangster, (2) the weeper, and (4) the funny man. The choreographer also reviewed source materials on the craft of choreography and related choreographic works by major artists in the field. The choreographer then produced the dance, which included the following: (1) selections of personnel, (2) development of choreography, (3) selection of music, (4) selection of stage properties, (5) design and construction of costumes, (6) selection of lighting design, and (7) selection of a title for dance. These aspects of dance production as well as the material researched were described in the present thesis form. Summary and Evaluation: The concern of this study was to develop an extended choreographic work by examining the American movies of 1933 as a motivating source of choreography. Research was done on the American movies of 1933 and as a result of findings, the choreographic themes were limited to four selected character types that were found repeatedly in the movies during that year. Related choreographic works and source materials on the craft of choreography were also reviewed. This endeavor resulted in a production of the dance which included selection of personnel, development of choreography, selection of music, selection of stage properties, design and construction of costumes, selections of lighting design, and selection of a title for the dance. The choreographic development was derived through the choreographer’s concept of each personality to be depicted. “Seed” movements for the selected character types were derived from researching the literature, viewing available films, observing stills from actual movies, and from the choreographer’s previous experience in dance. During the past decade there has been a nostalgic craze for the recapturing of America’s past. Trends in the arts have recreated past eras with new and different flavors. The choreographer has been especially fond of those trends that reflect the era of the 1930’s. The choreographer’s concept of this era was gained from images projects through the stereotyped movie characters of that period. The four character types chosen as subjects for this study were special to the choreographer, in ways that were expressed in the dance.

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Keywords

Choreography, Motion pictures--United States--History, Motion pictures--Plots, themes, etc.

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