Studios' early experiments with sound tended to imitate Broadway or Prologs, vaudeville shows at motion picture palaces. Among the featured dance acts were precision tap lines, ethnic (called "character") dances, adagio or exhibition ballroom work, and such eccentric work as rag doll dances. Examples of all four can be seen in The King of Jazz (1930), the finale of which features successive episodes of ethnic dancers representing immigrants as they march into an onscreen melting pot.
As Hollywood relaxed into sound technology, dance directors developed a new structure for dance-based routines. As exemplified by Busby Berkeley's films for Warner Bros., the routines opened on a traditional stage
Was this article helpful?