Dancing Lady (Robert Z. Leonard:1933) apparently has a trivial plot line: a young woman Janie Barlowe (Joan Crawford) would do anything to dance. She is a burlesque dancer, with a unique dance style, who struggles to succeed and to be recognized as a Broadway musical artist. During a performance she is arrested for “inappropriate behavior” and end up being bailed out by a millionaire playboy Tod Newton (Franchot Tone) who is secretly in love with her. The character Janie Barlowe, via bribery of Tod Newton, gets a part in a Broadway Show. Due to her talent (meritocracy), she is elevated to a star and Tod Newton jealously cancel the show. Janie Barlowe struggles between manipulation, love, and the desire to be a dancer. The career wins and she join Patch Gallaghe (Clark Gable) to put on the show again which is a huge success. In this paper we aim to analyze the film The Dancing Lady taking in account: (i) The film is an atypical musical that goes well beyond the confines of a “backstage musical” into areas richer, deeper, and darker, namely through the discussion of the female role in art and in society; (ii) the expression through dance, analyzed as meritocracy; (iii) the film features the screen debut of the dancer Fred Astaire, who appears as himself mirroring the concept of meritocracy in art.
Este trabalho encontra-se publicado com a Licença Internacional Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0.
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