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Sweet Charity

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Viewing/Paper of Sweet Charity

Plot Synopsis: The movie Sweet Charity begins with Charity singing through Central Park with her ‘boyfriend’ Charlie. Hopelessly romantic and optimistic, Charity believes they will get married and even has a tattoo of his name on her arm. However, as Charity is about to make a wish, Charlie pushes her off a bridge and steals her entire lifesavings. In denial about what happened Charity returns to her work as a Dance Hall Hostess at the Fandango Ballroom and tries to convince her taxi dancer friends Nickie and Helene that Charlie will be back. Upon leaving work, Charity runs into the famous Italian actor Vittorio Vidal having an argument with his girlfriend Ursula. When Ursula departs in a cab, Vittorio asks a nosy and starstruck Charity to accompany him to a party. At the party Charity finds herself surrounded by luxury and fame and upon leaving the party the two return to Vittorio’s luxurious apartment where Charity is overwhelmed by the sheer extravagance and refers back to her life due to a “fickle finger of fate”. As she thinks back to her taxi dancer friends, she begins in song wishing her friends could only see her now. She then realizes that her friends would never believe her. It is then that Vittorio autographs a picture made out to Charity and givers her a few mementos from his old movies to remember him by and to use as proof. Unfortunately, Ursula unexpectedly shows up causing Vittorio to hide Charity in the closet for the rest of the night. Returning to the dance hall, she tells her friends Nickie and Helene about her night with Vittorio and they ridicule her of her inability to milk the situation for all it was worth. Nickie then claims that she is going to get out and that there’s got to be something better than what they are doing now. She, Charity and Helene then go off into song about a better life they could have and what they would do. Unfortunately, after the plans and dreams from the song Charity is the only one who actually sees it as a possibility while Nickie and Helene go back to work. The next day Charity goes to try and get a job by interviewing at a job search company. However, at the interview the man is so surprised by Charity’s lack of professional skills that he believes her interview to be a prank leaving Charity discouraged as she cries and enters the elevator. The elevator then breaks down leaving her and a claustrophobic man named Oscar Lindquist trapped. After calming and helping Oscar, the elevator becomes fixed and as Charity exits Oscar asks her out on a date. After their date in Central Park, Oscar attempts to guess her profession. However, Charity cannot bring herself to correct Oscar after he guesses that she works at bank. The two continue to date for two weeks, one of which he asks Charity to go to church with him. This church turns out to be a part of the hippie movement and after the date Oscar commends Charity for sharing in his beliefs of decency and morality. This leaves Charity distraught as she returns back to the dance hall where she quits work and decides she must tell Oscar. When she goes to meet him in a café he already knows and claims that her past is not important and that she must marry him. Charity again breaks out into song about how somebody loves her. Charity then takes Oscar with her to clear out her locker at work only to be met by a surprise party thrown by her friends. This party is a glimpse into Charity’s life and noticeable has effect on Oscar. When the two finally go to get married Oscar admits that he cannot go through with it due to Charity’s past and is forced to leave her. However, despite all of this, Charity seems to make it through as the movie ends with Charity in Central Park as “she lives hopefully ever after.”
Choreography Analysis: The overall choreography within the movie lends itself very well to the story telling. The first real use of choreography begins in the dance hall as all the taxi dancers are lined up singing “Hey Big Spender.” These movements begin very small and emphasize certain aspects of the body through isolations to seem seductive. The placements are also very turned in, which highlights the Bob Fosse choreography. This choreography is used to show how the girls are on display as they move on the stage to gain the attention of the men which shows the life of taxi dancer. The next use of dance is perhaps the biggest choreographic use throughout the movie. It is at the party Vittorio brings Charity to where it is all about upper class luxury. The first of dances is “The Aloof.” This dance is very snooty as the men walk around with their cigarettes extended in front as they bobble their heads back and forth in a sort of arrogant manner. The women also walk with the Fosse hands swiping back and forth with the eggshell hands behind their backs. The overall dance also has a change of intention as it goes from small movements, to a break down, back to the small movements. The next of the two dances was “The Heavyweight” where there were a lot of pelvic thrusts and the arm swings to the punching. This is a very unique style of dancing as the dancers used a lot of isolations. The third and last dance of the party was “The Big Finish.” This style implemented a lot of the pony steps along with head isolations as the group moved in unison. This style compared to the other three is much bigger in movement with a lot of hair flips and really is the finale to the three dances. Overall these three dance’s use of choreography is really used to show distinctions of what it means to be wealth and upper class and all of the dances hold this higher sense of being. The next use of dance comes as Charity is singing “If You Could See Me Now” while in Vittorio’s room. This dancing begins when Charity is too excited about where she is that she begins singing, and when she can no longer sing she dances. She also incorporates Fosse’s classic styled hat hold with her fingers spread out as she dances around his room in a very joyful and playful manner emulating the mood that she is in. This choreography is very jumpy and bouncy and reflects Charity’s emotions. Another dance sequence breaks out when Charity, Nickie, and Helene sing, “Something Better Than This.” This dance breaks out of song from the pure hope of living a better life. The choreography is big and vibrant with lots of jazz hands, hip movements, and head movements. The choreography is used to show the hope of the women, which reveals their innermost dreams. Their excitement is revealed through their movements and it carries the story by showing Charity’s hope and her breaking point of no longer accepting anything less. The last real dance sequence of the movie is when Charity sings, “Somebody Loves Me” where there is the marching band. These movements are synchronized with the beat of the music giving the movements much more emphasis and sharp clarity. It also highlights to emotions of the moment, as Charity believes she has just found her happy ending and the choreography reflects this by having her lead the marching band. This dance is the climax of happiness in the movie and it is only fitting that Charity be dancing with big movements and prancing to match/ marching to match the style of the musical number. Overall the choreography throughout the movie served as highlights throughout the movie and the dancing came at a point where words could no longer express emotion and when dancing was the best way to get across an entire emotion or feeling. The choreography definitely has the Fosse touch as there is turned in movement and the isolations, which only adds to the overall feeling of watching the choreography.…...

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