"Dream Ballet" is a mini ballet from the 1943 musical Oklahoma!, written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. It was famously choreographed by Agnes de Mille and performed by Joan Roberts in the original Broadway production. In the 1955 film, the dance was performed by Shirley Jones and appears on the soundtrack album. It is the act one finale.
|Songwriter(s)||Oscar Hammerstein II|
Listen to the song Dream Ballet or Buy it on amazon The number is performed after a group of girls tease Laurie for falling for a scam (buying a bottle of smelling sauce disguised as a potion). After the girls leave, Laurie performs a small reprise of "Out Of Your Dreams," smells from the bottle, and falls asleep. Laurie is found in a dream in which she is getting married to Curly. However, at the wedding, a jealous Jud shows up and steals Laurie away. He takes her to a cabaret and tries to convince her to become a burlesque performer. She runs away and is rescued by Curly but Jud kills him anyway. Everyone leaves her and Jud alone and he forces her into kissing him. Jud wakes her up to take her to the box social while Curly watches from the sidelines, loading his gun while watching them.
The song is composed of other songs from the show with some new material. The dream ballet was originally orchestrated by Robert Russell Bennet but has been re-worked several times to fit other mediums. The score for the 1955 film was redone by Richard Rogers himself. The 1998 revival's ballet was re-orchestrated by John Owen Edwards at the request of Susan Stroman. These orchestrations were also used in the 2002 Broadway revival. In the 2019 revival, the orchestra was stripped down to a seven-piece band. Most songs were also re-orchestrated to have a more country feel. The new orchestrations Daniel Kluger. The dream ballet specifically is more modern using electric guitar to play most of the music. The dancing was also stripped to one performer with small appearances from Laurie, Curly, and Jud. The ballet is less focused on a specific plot and was more of an interpretive dance.
The only audible part in the ballet comes when Jud begins to strangle Curly. Laurie screams "No!" during the musical climax.
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