Teaching Session - The
Dream Ballets in Carousel (1956) and Oklahoma (1955).
"Sentiment has never been unpopular except with a few sick persons
who are made sick by the sight of a child, a glimpse of a wedding,
or the thought of a happy home." Oscar Hammerstein in Babington
and Evans beneath.
"Given the models of the Berkeley spectacle and the Minelli-Freed
Unit dream sequence, one can speak of two forms which multiple diagesis
takes in the musical. Some musicals carefully delineate dream and
reality, narrative and spectacle, whereas others attempt to blend
dream and reality, show and story. Yet this is ultimately false...
For in the musical the show is the dream and the dream is the show.
The Hollywood musical offers itself as the spectator's dream, the
spectator's show." Jane Feuer below.
1. the resolution of the Berkeley musical, Girl Crazy (1932)
2. CAROUSEL ; 1956 128m, directed by Henry King written by Phoebe
Ephron from Molnar's play Liliom , music and lyrics by Rogers and
Hammerstein, choreography by Agnes de Mille reset by Rod Alexander.
3. OKLAHOMA ; 1955, 143 M, directed by Fred Zinneman, book Oscar Hammerstein,
from Green Grow the Rushes by Lynn Riggs, songs by Richard Rogers,
production design by Oliver Smith, Technicolor and Todd-AO; choreography
by Agnes de Mille from the stage show.
"Oliver Smith's production design achieves unity by using backdrops
showing infinite fields of wheat beneath lowering prairie skies and
Joseph Wright's art direction keeps this constantly present by creating
skeleton sets that prevent any shift in locale from doing violence
to the overall mood. Keogh Gleason's set decorations, selecting precisely
the same prop for each second of the ballet, sets a standard for members
of his craft to shoot at." Hollywood Reporter quoted in Barsaq
dream as hallucination
wish fulfillment or worst case
good and evil physical
grace versus brutality
defeat of Judd Fry
the sexual battle
dream as daydreaming
wish fulfillment or worst case theory
Louise turning on the wheel
choice of personal expression
good and evil societal influences
reality versus the illusionist
triumph of Jigger
the fatalistic elements
the Oedipal conflict.
The imagery of Oklahoma, the Regionalist School, Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton.
need to create an indigenous art form in painting, ballet and music.
The notorious Dream Ballet Sequence banned in some American States.
After an initial statement in balletic form of the sexual tensions
in her relationships, the heroine stumbles into a Den of Vice presided
over by Judd Fry and female dancers who in costume and dance are inspired
by the designer's response to Lautrec's prints. The interior is lit
by flares of gas and a flight of stairs leads to a blood red corridor.
Analyse the story presented by the dream within the overall narrative
context of the film.
John Kobal, Gotta Sing Gotta Dance , Hamlyn,
Leon Barsaq Caligari's Cabinet, A History of Film Design ,
NAL NY 1979
Babington and Evans Blue Skies Silver Linings, Manchester
James Agee, 'Folk Art', Partisan Review, in Agee on Film Volume
1, Putnam NY 1973
But even more terrifying and erotic was Gene Kelly's Dream Ballet
Sequence from The Pirate, a Minelli Musical of