Comparing Two Dance Movements from a Musical

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Compare two dance movements from different musicals that you have studied

The two musicals that I will be comparing are Oklahoma and the West Side Story. Their dance movements, by comparing them both, I would say that they are both in different worlds, as West side story is based in the city and Oklahoma in the countryside so there are many differences however there are also many features of both the musicals that are similar.

The dance scene in West Side Story is based in a gym with two different gangs, the Sharks and the Jets. These two sides are trying to out dance each other (mambo style), but the main part is when Maria and Tony meet each other. This is an important part of the musical as we now learn that from their first meeting that they are both attracted towards each other and the audience is expectant for more of this love story, however in Oklahoma we do not see Curly or Laurey as the dancing is the main part and the rivalry between the cowboys and the farmers is the main focus. This is the only thing we actually learn from the dance scene as it is the only time in the musical were the rivalry between the two lifestyles are shown in depth. In both of the musicals there is mentor that helps to calm the tough tension and attempt to have coalition between the two sides. The composer changes the music to establish the difference of this character with the other characters. In Oklahoma when the mentor appears the clear ‘umcha’ is not there anymore and not many brass instruments are being used, and there isn’t as many instruments used which could show the composer trying to show the authority of this character, but towards the end of his phrases are burst of brass instruments playing which gives a sarcastic tone, maybe showing how the people thought of advice. In West side story the composer has a different approach to the mentor. He uses a lot of brass instruments to give a silly approach to the activity organized by the mentor. It is like a...
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