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Word Count: 259
In the article Busby Berkeley and the Backstage Musical Rubin gives adefinition of a traditional musical a film containing a significantproportion of musical numbers that are impossible-ie persistentlycontradictory in relation to the realistic discourse of the narrativeRubin p57 This definition may only be applied to Berkeley whennarrative is replaced with space Berkeley manipulates the space usedand distorts it in impossible ways As in Dames he has a sea of bedswith women dancing on them and transitions them to bath tubes Thesenumbers are what give the musical impossibility not the narrativeShadow Waltz has a costume design and stage set up that adds fantasyto the impossible number The women cascade down with dresses that givetheir performance a whimsical effect The dance number in GoldDiggers has a baby on roller skates being chased by police on rollerskates His uses of space are what gives his musical life and addsanother dimension to the performanceThe staging the costume design and the numbers are what allow Berkeleyto create numbers that are over the top It makes more sense for amusical to have impossible use of space as opposed to a contradictorynarrative Instead of having performers break out in a song out of theblue he has them transition into a song His back-stage musicals savethe impossible for the performance and do not waste it on the narrativeBerkeley created numbers for the audience to be entertained and to makethe impossible possible
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