The Dance Artistry of Busby Berkeley with Marc Strauss
Thursday evenings on Zoom from 7-8:30 p.m.
January 14, 21, 28, February 4, 11.
Busby Berkeley (1895 – 1976) was a dancer, singer, and choreographer of elaborate designs for Broadway musicals in the 1920s before moving to greater fame in 1930s Hollywood. He developed unique film techniques such as his parade of faces and kaleidoscope effects by transforming dozens of dancers, mostly female, into fascinating geometric patterns, often shot from a crane high above the sound stage. Beginning in the Great Depression and continuing into the 1960s with numbers as varied as “Shuffle Off to Buffalo,” “By a Waterfall,” “The Lullaby of Broadway,” and “The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat,” Berkeley brought spectacle and fantasy in film to a whole new level of artistry.
The Dance Artistry of Busby Berkeley will be taught by Marc Strauss, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Theatre and Dance at Southeast Missouri State University. Marc will introduce and lead discussion on dozens of song and dance videos, both famous and rare, excerpted from Berkeley’s 50+ movie musicals beginning with his first, Whoopee!(1930) through his last, Jumbo (1962). With detailed historical contexts and multiple anecdotes, come relive the Hollywood days of yesteryear through dance and song as set to many Great American Standard tunes by songwriters such as Harry Warren, Al Dubin, the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, and many others.