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date: 03 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The American television show So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) is commonly referred to in the scholarship as a reality dance competition, a reality talent show, or simply as reality television. Instead of looking at the competitive aspect of SYTYCD and its relation to the genre of reality television, this chapter focuses on the show’s inherent intertextuality, specifically in relation to the early American popular entertainment genres of vaudeville and melodrama. It argues that vaudeville performance aesthetics and melodramatic performance modes are attractions on display, which produce what media scholar Henry Jenkins refers to as “affective immediacy” and “affective intensification” as part of the spectatorship experience that goes beyond the competitive aspect of SYTYCD. It focuses on the dance routines as well as audience responses to these routines from the SYTYCD dance fan community on YouTube.

Keywords: So You Think You Can Dance, intertextuality, vaudeville, melodrama, affective intensification, spectatorship, dance

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