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It's like I've Walked Right out of My Dreams

Title: It's like I've Walked Right out of My Dreams: Dream Ballets in the Broadway Musical.
Name(s): Perez, Natalia Alexis, author
Brewer, Charles E. (Charles Everett), professor directing thesis
Bakan, Michael B., committee member
Buchler, Michael Howard, 1966-, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Music, degree granting college
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Master Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (151 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This thesis analyzes selected dream ballets, examining their appearances and investigating how they were used throughout their existence, offering a new perspective on an often-neglected dramatic device of American music theater. Each chapter analyzes the dream ballet from a different interrelated perspective: (1) as a transformative, liminal stage in the course of plot through which the main character(s) undergo some rite of passage (e.g., a “coming of age” ritual); (2) as a device of theatrical artifice rather than an engine of dramatic action; and (3) as a vehicle of political agency. My study analyzes four iconic examples: the dream ballet sequences of Oklahoma! (1943), Carousel (1945), West Side Story (1957), and Billy Elliot the Musical (London, 2005). A relatively unexamined field in academic discourse, the dream ballet has rarely been the focus of scholarly investigation. Many of the secondary sources I use in this paper are either studies of the genre generally or of specific productions or biographies on significant figures of my research. My primary sources are housed in archival manuscript collections at the New York Library for the Performing Arts or the Library of Congress, where I conducted my research the summer of 2016. I integrate such sources with theoretical approaches derived from psychology, cultural anthropology, gender studies, and other fields—Sigmund Freud’s classic formulations in The Interpretation of Dreams (1899), Victor Turner’s anthropological concept of liminality, and Ellen Koskoff’s work on performing gender—to move beyond the specific case studies toward a broader musicological consideration of the dream ballet as a dramatic device. Through this approach, I bring the dream ballet to the fore of musicological thought, revealing new insights into the musical, cultural, and performative dimensions of music theater.
Identifier: FSU_SUMMER2017_Perez_fsu_0071N_14097 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Music.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester 2017.
Date of Defense: July 13, 2017.
Keywords: Broadway, critical theory, dance, dream ballet, musical theater
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Charles E. Brewer, Professor Directing Thesis; Michael Bakan, Committee Member; Michael Buchler, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Music
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Perez, N. A. (2017). It's like I've Walked Right out of My Dreams: Dream Ballets in the Broadway Musical. Retrieved from