One of the most unique things about musicals is their spectacle and dance. Some people think that spectacle and dance take away from the experience of the musical. But for me, just like songs, spectacle and dance only adds more to the experience. The dance and spectacle of a musical has always been part of my life.
Back in elementary school, I feel like it was the spectacle and dance that mattered to me the most in musical. Growing up, the kind of song I loved the most was the exciting numbers. There are many types of spectacle found in a musical like costumes, sets, circus, and dance. Spectacle and dance can help you believe in the show more. If you want the audience to believe that the show takes place in either an enchanted castle or in the wild of Africa or in OZ, you need the spectacle or else you wouldn’t believe in where it takes place.
So far, the best spectacle-filled musical is Wicked. This musical is a fantasy and its spectacle is one of a kind. All of the dancing, the lavish costumes, and the set all make you believe you are transported to OZ. Even the nature of the songs and the character’s names makes you believe. The show begins when this dragon on the top of the set operate and smoke comes out and automatically you feel like you are in OZ. Before the show begins, the curtain is actually a map of OZ with the Emerald City shimmering the middle. The lavish costumes are so beautiful especially Glinda’s Bubble Dress, Glinda’s Pink Dress, Elphaba’s Act II Dress and many of the ensemble outfits like the Shiz uniforms or the green costumes in the Emerald City.
The newest type of spectacle found is circus. I saw Pippin for the first time two years ago with my mom. The show is literally a circus. There are flips over balls, trapeze work, and even aerobatics. It provides something unique to Pippin. It is a wonderful musical filled with incredible songs.
There is even spectacle in Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. I may not remember seeing them live, but they are known for having spectacle. Due to the castle being enchanted in Beauty and the Beast and the Lion King taking place in the wild of Africa, they need to have spectacle. It also makes sense for both of them to have spectacle since they both are Disney musicals. The costumes in Pippin are quite lavish and very colorful and the circus tend is incredible.
I just saw Newsies in August and it has mind-blowing dance. These boys were jumping over each, sliding under each other, tap-dancing, ballet, flips, and dancing on newspapers. The dance is part of why I love Newsies and why it became meaningful.
There is also the spectacle found in Phantom of the Opera. So I do find the spectacle and dance very unique. Just like song, spectacle and dance adds an incredible texture to a musical. The dance and spectacle enhances the experience and provides me with a positive experience.
So the dance and spectacle provides something unique to a musical experience. What are your feelings about the spectacle and dance found in a musical?