The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel utilizes some spectacular dance scenes — but in this season 3 episode, the Amazon series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino admittedly wanted to give her line producer a “heart attack.”
The opening dance routine to ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Season 3
Sherman-Palladino, who created The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for Amazon, told The New York Times that she had a specific vision for the opening to the 3rd season.
“I was thinking, ‘how can I give my line producer the biggest heart attack?’” Sherman-Palladino recalled. So, she decided to open Mrs. Maisel Season 3 with a huge spectacle: a U.S.O. show. And the writer/director wasn’t going to phone it in on the dance scene.
“I’m like, ‘well if we’re going to do a U.S.O. show, I want a dance number. I want 850 dudes screaming at the dancers,’” she told The Times. While the episode may have been a challenge for the show’s crew, Sherman-Palladino pulled off an incredible scene.
The New York Times argues that Maisel’s use of movement throughout the series is an innovative use of the craft:
Mrs. Maisel has expanded the use of dance in conventional and unconventional ways; it breathes dance in many directions. There are those over-the-top numbers with the fervor and splendor of an MGM spectacle, but there are also intimate duets, like the dancers floating along the Seine in season 2 and the sultry dance between Midge Maisel and Lenny Bruce in season 3.
Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of the Amazon series, used to be a dancer herself
Why is dance such a significant aspect to Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? Sherman-Palladino has the art form in her bones.
“I was a dancer,” she told the publication. “There was one point where I was never out of tights.” Sherman-Palladino has referenced ballet in her previous work — Bunheads, of course, but also in select episodes in Gilmore Girls.
“I think that everything I do is filtered through that lens,” she explained. “So I write with a dance rhythmic view of a scene in mind.”
Sherman-Palladino is inspired by live performance when it comes to ‘Mrs. Maisel’
While Sherman-Palladino uses dance itself in the Mrs. Maisel scenes, the craft seeps into every element of the series.
“I think that my characters tend to have an energy that even when they walk down the street there’s sort of an internal beat to them,” the Maisel creator said. It’s fulfilling for Sherman-Palladino for more than one reason.
“I can finally tell my mother that the dance lessons paid off,” she quipped to The Times. “It’s been channeled through an unusual way, but I definitely direct like a dancer.”
In the midst of COVID-19, Sherman-Palladino misses live performance; it’s a huge influence on her as a TV writer.
“Theater is where everything happens,” she told The Times. “Everything that I do onscreen happens because I live in the theater.” The Mrs. Maisel creator believes that theater and dance — live in-person — “challenges” her “and the camera to give people that same feeling.”
In general, Sherman-Palladino doesn’t believe it’s possible to recreate a live theater experience. However, it is a big inspiration in her TV work.
“You’ll never get that same feeling,” she shared. “You shouldn’t try to replicate what you feel in a live theater. I think that should be its own thing, but it can inspire you to push the camera, in a way.”
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