At what point in film history did the movement of dancers in a musical film become an impediment to the director’s visual leanings?
In the classical Hollywood studio era musical, the frame is carefully composed to elicit a full view of the entire dancer’s body; no matter the contextual limitations of “Golden” era Hollywood, there was a mindset of practicality and efficiency in the fundamentals of assembly line film making, and in the case of the subject at hand, the applicable guiding principle was in ensuring that the expense and energies expended on producing a musical number would find realization fully on display onscreen. The dancer’s body was logically regarded as a complete instrument of musical interpretation, and as such, it naturally followed that during the preparation of a dance sequence, the performers and choreographer worked in synchronous harmony with the director and cinematographer in planning to properly shoot the performance properly recorded to ensure the time, energies, talent and expense (keeping in mind that the movies were and are a business, the studio moguls were adamant that the monies expended be reflected on the screen) be seen clearly and effectively. The contemporary propensity toward a resistance to exhibiting the dancer’s entire body in motion with a fluid camera unimpeded by jarring edits. without aesthetic justification, nullifies the intent of the choreographic efforts. The deliberate fracturing of the moving image, in this context, results in similar damage of perspective as a dance sequence designed for a wider spatial view (i.e., “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” or “It’s Always Fair Weather”) that faces a disruptive alteration through the use of “pan-and-scan” editing.
To read the entire post, click the following link to: https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/notes-on-the-critical-establishment/