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date: 02 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Historically, television has relied on theatrical and other forms of live performance for program content. An analysis of television programs incorporating dance as content reveals how shows structured around dance (i.e., So You Think You Can Dance or Dancing with the Stars), shows that feature dance (i.e., Glee or Ally McBeal), and television commercials (e.g., Gap’s khaki campaigns or eBay’s musical campaigns) reveal the ways in which the framing and presentation of dance employ theatrical conventions to evoke a sense of live performance. Meanwhile, performance has been linked to notions of expression through mass media forms such as film musicals in which song and dance convey characters’ interior motivations. Dance, in turn, brings an association with expression and theatrical performance. Thus, the deployment of dance, as expressive movement, in television programming promotes a concept of identity as a performance that is simultaneously naturalized and able to be crafted and altered.

Keywords: theatrical convention, television, performance, identity, expression, dance, commercials

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