This week, leading up the Oscars, we look back on some of the worst production numbers of Oscar shows past. Now, a look at the tradition of “spicing up” the Original Score nominees with dancing.
This is the epitome of awards show nonsense. You’ve got a music-related award to give out, so you’re going to play some music. Fine. But instead of having an excerpt of the music over, say, a nice montage from each film, you have to have spectacle, so you make some poor dancers interpret said music. These random “wake the audience up” numbers are funny in how tenuous the link is between what they’re doing and who’s doing it.
Below is a great example from the 1992 show. Goofy modern dancing thanks to choreographer Debbie Allen. The music styles vary widely, from smooth jazz to groovy jazz to something that sounds like “Jesus Christ Superstar.” I guess it’s a good thing they’re not literally dancing the plot or themes of the movies, because how exactly do you dance “JFK”? (Says Mikel: “You dance back and to the left.”)
As fun as it’d be for them to mime shooting each other with tommy guns for “Bugsy,” “Prince of Tides” could get pretty rapey. Although there are plenty of drag queens who can do a fierce Streisand. I guess some guys in puffy pirate shirts is a fair compromise.
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