The "Dancing in the Dark" scene of "The Band Wagon" by Vincente Minelli.

Essay by Anonymous UserElementary School, 1st gradeA, November 1996

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During the very popular 'Dancing in the Dark' scene from the film "The Band

Wagon", the director, Vincente Minnelli manages to foreshadow the fact that Fred

Astaire's character, Tony Hunt, and Cyd Charesse's alter ego, Gabrielle, will

succeed in becoming a couple by the film's conclusion. Up until this particular

scene, the audience has been led to believe through a series of misunderstandings

and petty arguments that there will be no hope of romance between the featured

couple. How then does Vincente Minnelli accomplish his task of foreshadowing,

despite all of the pre-ceding narrative information? Minnelli does not simply use a

dialogue full of admissions of love or admiration, instead he uses much more

unique cinematic tools. By employing the myth of spontaneity, numerous allusions

to marriage, a very popular contemporary love song as well as having the number

choreographed using a combination of the two protagonist's dancing styles; all

framed within the first complete and uninterrupted number that includs the two of

them, Minnelli effectively foreshadows their success in overcoming their

differences in an effort to find love.

In Jane Feuer's article " The Self-Reflective Musical and the Myth of

Entertainment ", she writes " perhaps the primary positive quality associated with

musical performance is its spontaneous emergence out of a joyous and responsive

attitude towards life. " ( Feuer, p. 331. ) Following this train of thought, it becomes

logical to deduce that if any one character introduces any other character to a world

filled with spontaneity this would instill a life affirming connection between the

two, a chance for romance. Therefore, spontaneity can be viewed as a signal for the

possibility of amour. In The Band Wagon Tony manages to persuade Gabrielle to

practice their dance routine in the park. Until this point Gabrielle has shown...