Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Choreographer Busby Berkeley’s Contributions to Film Essays -- Arts Mo

Choreographer Busby Berkeley’s Contributions to Film Berkeley’s creations were not meant to focus on dance. He envisioned an overall moving pattern, which he created by using moving bodies. He made the art of choreography a technique of design and visual mathematics, and combined this with his knowledge of film to bring his vision to life on the big screen. The skill of this multi-talented man brought Hollywood musicals to their full potential, creating a high demand for dance in films. William Berkeley Enos was born November 29, 1895, in Los Angeles. He began his career as a choreographer in 1918 as a lieutenant in the army. Conducting and directing parades. He gained the ability to work with large masses of moving bodies to create a moving picture. He also worked as a choreographer to stage camp shows for the troops. It was not until his collaboration with producer Florence Ziegfeld that Berkeley began choreographing for films. When Ziegfeld decided to turn his production of Whoopee into a film, he asked Berkeley, who had become one of the top Broadway dance directors, to choreograph the dance routines. Berkeley, unhappy with the restrictions of his job, raised the bar for film choreographers by taking on decisions about camera angles and editing. Before Berkeley, these decisions had all been made by the director or the producer. One of Berkeley’s signature choices was to use only one camera. He also chose to use close-ups of the dancers in the chorus. He would say: â€Å"Well, we’ve got all these beautiful girls in the picture, why not let the public see them?† This approach showed that Berkeley understood that innovative filmmakers possess the ability to use the camera to show audiences what their normal sight does ... ... 1976. Although his death was tragic, Busby Berkeley will be remembered for his visionary talent. He has also been considered the creator of the formulaic marketing approaches you see today in music videos. As Larry Billman points out,â€Å"Berkeley’s ever-unfolding kaleidoscopic patterns and complete montage/ scenarios certainly had commercial advantage† (15). Berkeley embraced the possibility that the relationship between a camera and a moving body could bring a song to life. After his extravagant musical numbers, there was no doubt that the entire audience would leave the theater knowing the songs by heart. And so Berkeley was way ahead of his time. He could see within film a very important image, not the individual dancers themselves, but the dancing image. And with that he created sequences that remain some of the most beautiful spectacles on the screen.   

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