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Fred Astaire’s site-specific choreography: High art for the low-art consumer

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This article examines the choreography of three film musical numbers choreographed by Fred Astaire, and makes a case for viewing his work as site-specific. The particular definition of site-specific for this argument is assembled from various sources, and pertains to drawing attention to a new way of looking at a space, and whether or not the choreography’s meaning and effect are intrinsically linked with viewers’ impressions of the space. It then goes on to explain how this lens allows us to focus on Astaire’s films’ propensity for bridging the gap between high and low art, by simultaneously appealing to both types of audiences and appearing ambiguously split between the two himself.
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Keywords: Fred Astaire; choreography; film; high art; low art; site-specific

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Colorado

Publication date: December 1, 2015

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