Master of Arts (MA)
Terri L Cornwell
Primary Subject Area
Cinema ; Dance
Dance, musicals; Singin’ in the Rain; Narrative Paradigm; kernels; satellites
The purpose of this study was to discover if and how dance communicates vital plot and character information nonverbally. The example analyzed was the film Singin’ in the Rain. This thesis examined the six dance sequences in the film to determine if the dancing is an integral, powerful, and significant communicative addition to the film. Walter Fisher’s Narrative Paradigm was used in conjunction with Seymour Chatman’s concept of kernels and satellites to determine if the dances communicated significantly to the film’s viewers. The Narrative Paradigm, though loosely framed, provided the concepts of coherence and fidelity. These concepts helped determine if the dances made sense and if they told relatable stories. Chatman’s concept of kernels and satellites determined how important these dance sequences were to the film. All dances analyzed, except one, were determined to be kernels, and thus they told vital parts of the story or enhanced the film’s characters.