This weekend, Interlochen Arts Academy is putting on the musical, The King and I.
To celebrate, Kate Botello is walking us through five of her favorite parts of the Rodgers and Hammerstein show, on Kids’ Commute.
The King and I, is based on the 1944 novel, Anna and the King of Siam, by Margaret Landon. Turns out that novel was based on the diaries of a lady named Anna Leonowens, who was a schoolteacher from England in the early 1860’s. Anna was hired by King Mongkut of Siam (now Thailand) to teach scientific, and modern knowledge to his many royal children.
One thing that happens in The King and I, is people from England come to visit Anna and King Mongkut. Now, the king wants everything to look very good to the visitors, and make them comfortable and happy. So, he decides to throw them an English-styled party- food, clothing, and dancing!
Well, that style of dancing is a pretty familiar form of dancing in the United States...maybe you’ve done it yourself. It’s the polka dance! The polka is very simple to do- take three steps and a little hop.
Can you imagine Anna, in her beautiful ball gown and King Mongkut, in his wonderful royal outfit, dancing the polka?
Music piece for today:
Shall We Dance by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, performed by Yul Brynner and Marni Nixon
Listen to the Kids’ Commute live on Classical IPR every weekday morning at 7:40am or listen to the archived episode at the top of the post.