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Unpacking In The Heights' choreographic film references, from Busby Berkley to West Side Story

By Phoebe Macrossan, Research Associate, Digital Media Research Centre, Queensland University of Technology
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Part of the joy of a musical is that song and dance can occur anywhere and everywhere. Not just on the stage but in the bedroom, to the Wild West and on the streets of New York.

Classic musicals set in New York often take dancing to the streets.

In On The Town (1949, based on the 1944 stage musical), Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly (who also choreographed the movie) play sailors on shore leave in the big city. In West…


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