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Swankafied

Dancing Through Life is sung between Fiyero, Elphaba, Galinda, Nessarose, and Boq, as well as the ensemble members.

Tanz Durch Die Welt is the German version of this song, that translates to "Dance Through the World"and Jinsei o odoriakase is the Japanese version of the song.

ContextEdit

The song is performed towards in the middle of the first act of the musical. Just prior to the song, Fiyero, the famed Winkie prince, arrives at Shiz University, where he meets Galinda and Boq. During the song, Fiyero sings about his beliefs regarding the problem with schools, and believes that people should ignore school, and live the "unexamined life." Also during this song, Boq confesses to Galinda his infatuation with her, and asks her to save a dance for him, after Fiyero invites everyone to the "most swankified" place in town, or the Ozdust Ballroom. Upon hearing Boq, Galinda tells him that someone would be her hero if they asked Nessarose, the crippled sister of Elphaba, to the dance. Galinda does this not to help Nessarose, but to avoid Boq, and start a relationship with Fiyero. Nessarose is thrilled at the possibility of having a fun night at the Ozdust Ballroom, and begins her infatuation with Boq, hinting at later events to come in the musical. Elphaba is later given a black, pointed hat, by Galinda, who was originally given the hat by her grandmother. Galinda gives this hat to Elphaba to ridicule her in front of others, reminiscent of What Is This Feeling? Nessarose and Elphaba also try to find a way to repay Galinda for her thoughtfulness.

During the ball, Madame Morrible confronts Galinda, and gives her a training wand, saying it was at the request of the Thropps that Galinda begin sorcery training, though Madame Morrible has doubts of Galinda's abilities. However, she gives Galinda the wand. Later, Elphaba arrives at the ball, wearing the hat, and begins to dance, alone. Soon filled with remorse, Galinda joins her, and eventually, so does much of the audience, beginning their friendship. Boq and Nessarose begin their relationship, though Boq is only willingly participating to impress Glinda. Boq tries to admit his true reason for inviting Nessa, but is embarrassed when she intuits the truth on her own. Ashamed, he instead lies and claims he invited her because he finds her beautiful, then dances with her.

LyricsEdit

Normal text - Sung.
Italicized - Spoken.

FIYERO
The trouble with schools is
They always try to teach the wrong lessons
Believe me, I've been kicked out
Of enough of them to know
They want you to become less callow
Less shallow
But I say: why invite stress in?
Stop studying strife
And learn to live the unexamined life

Dancing through life
Skimming the surface
Gliding where turf is smooth
Life's more painless
For the brainless
Why think too hard
When it's so soothing

Dancing through life
No need to tough it
When you can slough it off as I do
Nothing matters
But knowing nothing matters
It's just life
So keep dancing through

Dancing through life
Swaying and sweeping
And always keeping cool
Life is fraught-less
When you're thoughtless
Those who don't try
Never look foolish

Dancing through life
Mindless and careless
Make sure you're where less trouble is rife.
Woes are fleeting
Blows are glancing
When you're dancing
Through life

So - what's the most swankified place in town?

GALINDA
That would be the Ozdust Ballroom.

FIYERO
Sounds perfect.

Let's go down to the Ozdust Ballroom
We'll meet there later tonight
We can dance till it's light
Find the prettiest girl
Give 'er a whirl
Right on down to the Ozdust Ballroom
Come on - follow me
You'll be happy to be there

ALL
Dancing through life
Down at the Ozdust

FIYERO
If only because dust
Is what we come to

ALL
Nothing matters
But knowing nothing matters
It's just life

FIYERO
So keep dancing through

BOQ
Miss Galinda -
I hope you'll save at least one dance for me.
I'll be right there.
Waiting.
All night.

GALINDA
Oh - that's so kind.
But you know what would be even kinder?

See that tragically beautiful girl
The one in the chair
It seems so unfair
We should go on a spree
And not she
Gee
I know someone would be my hero
If that someone were to go invite her

BOQ
Well, maybe - I could invite her!

GALINDA
Oh, Biq, really?
You would do that for me?

BOQ
I would do anything for you, Miss Galinda

GALINDA
So...

FIYERO
So I'll be picking you up around eight?

GALINDA
After all -

Now that we've met one another

FIYERO AND GALINDA
It's clear we deserve each other

GALINDA
You're perfect

FIYERO
You're perfect

BOTH
So we're perfect together
Born to be forever
Dancing through life

NESSAROSE
Oh, Elphaba - isn't it wonderful?

Finally, for this one night
I'm about to have a fun night
With this Munchkin boy
Galinda found for me
And I only wish there were
Something I could do for her
To repay her
Elphaba, see?
We deserve each other
And Galinda helped it come true
We deserve each other,
Me and Boq

Please, Elphaba try to understand.

ELPHABA
I do

Listen, Glinda -
Nessa and I were talking about you just now.

GALINDA
And I was just talking about you!
I thought you might want to wear this hat to the party tonight!

It's really, uh, sharp, don't you think?
You know black is this year's pink
You deserve each other
This hat and you
You're both so smart
You deserve each other
So here, out of the goodness of my heart.

BOQ
Listen, Nessa.

NESSAROSE
Yes?

BOQ
Uh - Nessa
I've got something to confess, a
Reason why, well -
Why I asked you here tonight
Now I know it isn't fair

NESSAROSE
Oh, Boq, I know why.

BOQ
You do?

NESSAROSE
It's because I'm in this chair
And you felt sorry for me
Well - isn't that right?

BOQ
No! No! It's because, because,
Because you are so beautiful!

NESSAROSE
Oh, Boq, I think you're wonderful!
And we deserve each other
Don't you see, this is our chance?
We deserve each other
Don't we, Boq?

BOQ
You know what?
Let's dance.

NESSAROSE
What?!

BOQ
Let's dance!

ALL
Dancing through life
Down at the Ozdust
If only because dust
Is what we come to!
And the strange thing
Your life could end up changing
While you're dancing
Through!

VideosEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Other attempts that Stephen Schwartz came up with before settling with this song was: "Which Way Is The Party?", "Who Could Say No To You?", "Easy as Winkie Wine", and "We Deserve Each Other."
  • In the Original Broadway Cast recording of the album, Norbert Leo Butz can be heard misspeaking the line We can dance till it's light as We can dance till it lights.
  • In the San Francisco out-of-town-try-outs, the quote, "What's in the punch?" "Lemons and melons and pears," "Oh my," was originally said by Fiyero and Glinda.

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