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Gestures of Music TheaterThe Performativity of Song and Dance$
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Dominic Symonds and Millie Taylor

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199997152

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199997152.001.0001

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Relocating the Song

Relocating the Song

Julie Taymor’s Jukebox Musical, Across the Universe (2007)

(p.41) Chapter 3 Relocating the Song
Gestures of Music Theater

George Rodosthenous

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the director’s approach of re-locating the songs and giving them a new context within the narrative of the piece. It focuses on the gender reversals that Taymor introduced in the performance of Beatles songs in Across the Universe (2007), and explores the performativity of songs that are remediated, re-gendered and relocated into a new dramaturgical context. The analysis is completed by considering the more spectacle-based scenes of the film, and suggesting how reading them in new meta-theatrical contexts creates a hyper-reality that contributes to the complex and textured dramaturgy of the work. Selected songs/scenes from the musical is discussed in detail to exemplify the challenge to integration of technologized dance, puppetry, liveness and constructedness.

Keywords:   directing, Julie Taymor, dramaturgy, jukebox film musical, technologized dance, hyper-reality, liveness, spectacle, meta-theatre, constructedness

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