It’s no secret that movies provide great inspiration for recital themes. Yet this summer it seems like Mission Impossible to find a new film without a prequel or original version. (By the way, MI’s latest sequel will be out in December.) So let’s get in on the action and use summer sequels as inspiration. Audiences aren’t sick of paying to see these movies in theaters yet, so I suspect they’ll enjoy watching them on stage—in real 3-D.
Below are a few song suggestions for each sequel, and be sure to check out “A Fine Kettle of Fish,” “From Screen to Stage” and “Drawn Together” for more set design and costume ideas from Kristin Lewis and Katia Bachko.
Pirates of the Caribbean 17:
Who doesn’t love the movie soundtrack? But if you’ve used its music more than the film franchise itself, here are others to go along with the Caribbean breeze:
“Pirates Cove,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers—This slow-rock tune could make a nice contemporary routine for your advanced students.
“Christmas in the Caribbean,” Jimmy Buffet—It’s a no-brainer, especially if you’re Pirates theme is in the winter.
“Louie Louie” The Kingsmen—This song is about a Jamaican sailor returning to the island to see his love. It’d be great for a tap piece since no one can understand the lyrics anyway.
“Sailing for Adventure” or “Professor Pirate, ”Muppet’s Treasure Island soundtrack—Use these songs in your kids’ musical theater jazz numbers.
Harry Potter, Book 7…or 8?:
Divide your dancers with a sorting hat and put them into hous—I mean levels.
“Wizard of Finance,” Parliament—jazz funk routine for the funkiest band out there.
“Pinball Wizard,” The Who—You could use the entire Tommy album as a theme instead!
“Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” concert piece by Paul Dukas—for the ballerinas.
“Follow the Yellow Brick Road/We’re Off to See the Wizard,” Wizard of Oz soundtrack—Your youngest jazz class chassé-ing and skipping across the stage would be precious.
Transformerzzzz…(Because let’s face it, we all fell asleep to the first one):
Cars turn into robots and fight. Hip-hop dance-offs or tap battles?
Rainbows and Robots: They’re a funky electric synth-sounding group. I suggest using their music for your more advanced contemporary jazz class.
“Mr. Roboto,” Styx—Dress up your tiny tappers in sliver costumes and incorporate the “robot” dance
“Dog Days are Over,” Florence and Machine.—Maybe it’s overused, but how catchy is this song?!
“Robot Rock,” Daft Punk—OK, all of Daft Punk’s songs would fit the robot-theme. Use it for your hip-hop class or mid-aged jazz class for a fast-paced routine.
“I’m in Love with My Car,” Queen—This rockin’ song is perfect for a contemporary routine for your most advanced students.
“409” Beach Boys—It’s driving (pun!) tempo is not too fast for the 8–10 year-old jazz class.
“Swing Low Sweet Cadillac,” Dizzy Gillespie—Advanced tap class.
“Mustang Sally,” Wilson Pickett—Oddly enough, I could see this being a fun contemporary ballet piece, with some partnering if possible.
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World to Keep Making these Films:
Since these are almost all instrumental, they seem pretty interchangeable between ballet, jazz and modern/contemporary. Just tell your kids to be sneaky!
Check out the Reader’s Digest Music: The Bond Mix & Other Spy Themes
Mission Impossible theme song
The James Bond theme song
“Pink Panther” theme song
“I Spy” television show theme song
“Secret Agent Man,” Johnny Rivers