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Heterosexuality and the Musical: The Couple - Essay Example

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Musicals have essentially been associated with wrong coupling and by extension homosexuality. …
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Heterosexuality and the Musical: The Couple
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Download file to see previous pages While the musical industry has thrived from its homosocial nature, often depicting homosexuality as a norm within the musical industry of film and cinematography, there are a number of films that steer away from this view and incorporate opposite sex relationships into the script, as well as steering away from plots that are primarily associated with same sex relations within films (Bullough 1976, p. 67). The ideology of heterosexuality is compounded by the appearance of different roles played by different sexes thereby either dispelling or confirming the question of whether or not roles can be reversed in a heterosexual union. In addition, the interaction between the heterosexual couples provides an intrinsic view of the domain in which the film is set. Top Hat is set a musical comedy set in London, where Jerry, an American dancer goes to attend a show organized by Horace Hardwick. While, in his hotel room, Jerry’s tap dancing awakes Dale, who was trying to get some sleep in her room, beneath Jerry’s. A confrontation between Jerry and Dale ensues, during which Jerry falls in love with the fashion model, Dale (Reid 2004, p. 13). Jerry later tries to woe Dale and eventually wins her affections, which forms the basis of the film. The film delves into the intricacies of heterosexual relationships, seeking to confirm or dispel notions of gender based roles with the film industry and society as a whole.
While heterosexual relationships are predominantly shaped by the couple itself, the process of coupling, as well as the affiliation between the couple is influenced by outside sources such as societal norms and persons outside the relationship. The societal view towards people’s attractiveness plays into the play through several of its actors and actresses. Because coupling is not only based on the desires of an individual, but requires the approval and acceptance of the potential partner, the art of coupling are reduced to one where seduction, prolonged courtship and regular meetings. The interested party follows and seeks the companionship of the potential partner and tries to owe the latter with all manner of techniques (Brown 1995, p. 126). The concept of music and dance is incorporated into the script, shifting the audience’s perception of certain dance routines as being typically belonging to the homosexual community. Dance and song are exemplified as being key in the development of heterosexual relationships. In the early 20th century as in the modern times, music and dance form the backdrop of romantic moments, pushing couples together through in sync body movements (Reid 2004, p. 23). Heterosexuality over Homosexuality The plot of Top Hat begins with a series of wholly male-played parts. This quips at the homosexuality in musicals and is exemplified by the males in this part not being interested in women, but rather in haberdashery. Before the film progresses any further, the audience is likely to believe that the film is centered on homosexuality and not heterosexuality. By watching and listening to the men in this initial segment of the musical, we see a manifestation of the male tendencies to obsess over such trivialities as haberdashery and become engrossed in such behavior as collective dance. These men’s disinterest in women is somewhat a depiction of homosexuality and their disregard for the opposite sex unions. However, the notion of the film being a description of the homosexuality tendencies in the society are dispelled by the entrance of the key actors who are paired on the basis of the opposite sex. The act of sex is not symbolized as critical to the existence of heterosexual ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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