As a film student and fan of musicals, I’ve often found some reticence between my colleagues to value the latter as a genre worthy of appreciation and analysis. While working on my dissertation about contemporary musicals, I’ve heard countless times the question: “why musicals?”, to which I must necessarily answer: “why not?”.
To me, a film in which the story and the characters succeed in transmitting emotions and myths through the most irregular mediums, such as song and dance, seems anything but undeserving of attention.
Luckily, as I’ve read more and more about the genre, I’ve encountered numerous critics and enthusiasts that, just like me, have been frowned upon because of their choice of taking musicals as a serious object of investigation. Their interest and reflections have inspired me whenever I feel isolated amongst my pro-auteurist comrades (which, of course, I shall not criticize, for I do believe that the auteur theory is as valid and worthy of study as the theory of genres).
It is quite easy to look down at musicals and tag them as mindless entertainment without a second glance. However, critics like Rick Altman, Richard Dyer, Jane Feuer, Richard Barrios, Kelly Kessler, and many others…have proved that there’s more to the musical than meets the eye (or ear).
Shall we dance is a space for discussion, analysis and brainstorming about cinematographic musicals. It won’t try to establish an absolute truth about musicals, but it will try to serve as a platform for fans and critics alike to remember and appreciate old classics and their contemporary derivations.
I hope you enjoy the ride over the rainbow and into the magical land of musicals as much as I do.