Category: Fräulein Maria (2)
It’s difficult to think of many films more ingrained into American culture than The Sound of Music. It’s the third highest-grossing film of all time (adjusting for inflation), ranked at number 40 on the AFI’s top 100 films and has been added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry: so, praising the movie is more than a cliché. It’s like stating that you’re a fan of The Beatles, or saying that Babe Ruth was one heck of a ball player.
“Really, Mozart was a good musician? You don’t say?”
Sure, it’s a very good film, but it’s also a film with image after image that has been saturated into pop culture through showings of the film, clips in Oscar montages explaining what this foreign idea called “moo-vies” are, and parody after parody after parody. Just like most people who haven’t seen Star Wars rightfully feel like they have, I’d felt like I’d seen The Sound of Music well before my first viewing.
I suppose what I’m saying is that it’s old hat. And so, going into yet another rendering of The Sound of Music, I was justifiably skeptical. And very early on in choreographer Doug Elkins’ Fräulein Maria, my skepticism faded away. And then returned. And then faded again.
Fräulein Maria does away with most of that pesky plot and dialogue of its source material. That’s just fine by me, since the book was, by far, the weakest element in the musical. Instead, it uses the movie’s soundtrack, played over dances, to represent a new way of viewing the source material. This format, by design, leads to a fragmented performance: more a series of vignettes than a straight retelling of a story we all know so well. Read more »
Noted New York-based choreographer, Doug Elkins, has been working with students from Montclair State University’s dance program throughout the academic year. In the fall, Elkins choreographed a new work specifically for dance students at MSU: “She could never remember which was better…safe…or sorry…” The choreography, which included music by Björk and The Cornelius Brothers, featured a rollicking sense of humor and “fresh” social dance moves. A video excerpt is available to view on Insite. Students performed “She could never remember…” at the dance program’s annual showcase, Works-a-Foot, last December.