Special Issue of Studies in Musical Theatre: Dance in Musical Theatre
In defining musical theatre as a genre, Pamyla Stiehl argues that a show must contain three components: music, text, and dance, or what she calls the “golden triangle” (Stiehl 2008). Of these three, dance has received the least scholarly attention. When one leg of the “golden triangle” goes unstudied, the whole cannot fully be seen. The wonderful alchemy of a musical occurs when its constituent parts converge, and without understanding how dance contributes to the functioning of a show, deeper knowledge of that show’s meanings get lost. As the fields of theatre studies and musicology have gradually moved away from textual analysis and toward performance analysis, understanding the body in motion has only become more crucial to articulating what happens in live performance and how it differs from the text on the page. Therefore, the time is ripe for an in-depth scholarly discussion of the role of dance in musical theatre.
This special issue of Studies in Musical Theatre will help define and expand a scholarly subfield, creating space for dialogue among academics interested in dance in musical theatre. We also aim for the issue to serve as a resource for all scholars of musical theatre. We are open to historical period and geographic location; while we are particularly interested in expanding beyond the Golden Age, even the musicals of de Mille, Fosse, Robbins, and others from that period still warrant greater in-depth critical attention and analysis.
We welcome scholars from all disciplines to contribute. Topics might include:
-Dance in musicals beyond Broadway
-Broadway dance before, during, and/or beyond the Golden Age
-The “dansical” phenomenon
-Offstage contributions to dance (dance arrangers, dance assistants, casting personnel)
-The politics of reconstructing/restaging dances; choreographic copyright
-Re-thinking the canon
-Dance and design (costume, lighting, set) in musicals
-Dance and class, race, gender, and/or sexuality in musicals
-How dance in musicals uses virtuosity and spectacle
-Non-Anglo/American approaches to dance in musicals
-The role of social dance on the musical stage
-Training the triple threat performer
-The relationship between concert dance and Broadway
-Musical theatre dance and disciplinarity
Abstracts of 250-500 words are due by April 1, 2017 and should be submitted via this form. If you have any questions, contact the editors at DanceinMusicalTheatre@gmail.com. Selected abstracts will be invited to be developed into articles of 5,000-6,000 words, which will be due by November 2017 for a projected publication date of January 2019. Submissions will undergo full blind peer review, which will determine final selection.