Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
New interface

Let’s Face the Music and Dance : la comédie musicale hollywoodienne classique au prisme de l’entertainment

Abstract : In this research, I investigate the notion of entertainment to understand how Hollywood musicals provide a specific pleasure and prescribe distinctive values. I use feminist, gay and queer theories in order to develop an alternative to historical and aesthetic approaches to the Hollywood musical that characterize French research. I focus on musical numbers: the translation mechanisms in song and dance they imply have remained largely under-investigated. I do this by combining thematic study and a detailed analysis of sequences. I first outline the fundamental principles of entertainment by discussing scientific approaches and looking into film genres. I also characterize the specificity of entertainment in musicals by analyzing audience reactions. I then demonstrate through representation analyses how themes and prescribed values gain intensity in musicals because they are enacted using music and dance. Finally I indicate how musicals influence entertainment itself. I show how entertainment runs as a performative matrix, sometimes reconfiguring representations based on fundamental socio-cultural matrices. Performances organize the world following certain social and gendered norms. If musicals are fertile ground to enact a dominant gaze (male, white, heterosexual), they also create opportunities for alternative ones because they put show above narrative. Some iconic performers entertain their audience through unique singing or dancing techniques, thereby subverting norms. I detail how such performers reshuffle gender stereotypes using several case studies. Finally I analyze how relationships develop through song and dance using the concept of accordance, i.e. star couples’ ability to entertain. These reflections are a foreground of the universal seduction power of the Hollywood musical beyond its white heterosexual representations.
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Fanny Beuré Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, May 21, 2021 - 8:15:03 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 11:59:03 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-03232655, version 1


Fanny Beuré. Let’s Face the Music and Dance : la comédie musicale hollywoodienne classique au prisme de l’entertainment. Art et histoire de l'art. Université Paris Diderot, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : ⟩. ⟨tel-03232655⟩



Record views