An American In Paris Analysis

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An American in Paris “Paris? No, not this city. It 's too real and too beautiful. It never lets you forget anything. It reaches in and opens you wide, and you stay that way (An American in Paris).” After watching the new Broadway musical An American in Paris, I left the Palace Theatre feeling I shall never forget this beautiful American musical with its powerful display of storytelling through dance. Christopher Wheeldon, the director and choreographer, chose an extremely clear, stunning, and entirely balletic introduction; yet even with the limited narration, I was never lost as he carried me through Paris - a suffering city still in turmoil after emerging from the darkness of WWII German Occupation. As the giant Nazi banner victoriously…show more content…
Almost all the dance sequences had meaning and furthered the story through the changing tempo of the choreography. Within the dance numbers, Wheeldon used different speeds to display dramatic action. For example, in the first dance number, the slow, broad strokes and the use of stillness exhibited the oppression and devastation of the war. As Paris began to heal, and the leading man discovered art, love and hope for a new beginning, the choreography quickened with sharper movements intimating a whirlwind, as the city rediscovered itself onstage. Wheeldon accomplished with dance what most directors do with text. The one time this was not successful was in the song "Fidgety Feet" during a ballet reception; it is completely out-of-the-blue and adds no actual value to the story. It felt like Wheeldon just wanted another big dance number; however, it was completely unnecessary and it actually contradicted the dramatic action. The lead character was in a bind and all of a sudden, we have one of the most upbeat numbers in the show where everyone’s feet cannot be controlled. I would have cut that song or at least made it more about the lead character’s nervousness and difficult decision instead of everyone joining in
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